A boy spied a little rose,
a little rose on the heath.
It was so young, and beautiful as the dawn –
He ran quickly to see it more closely.
He looked at it with great delight,
The little rose on the heath. (1772)
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749-1832
The little rose said, I’ll prick you,
So that you will always remember me,
And I won’t be sorry about it.
The little rose on the heath.
Then the unruly boy plucked the little rose on the heath.
The little rose defended itself and stuck,
It didn’t help him to whine and cry,
He just had to suffer. The little rose on the heath.
Daß sie hier gewesen (1823)
Friedrich Rückert, 1788-1866
That the East Wind carries scents on the air
makes it known that you have been here.
That tears run here will make it known to you,
if you don’t yet know, that I have been here.
Beauty or Love, even if they remain hidden,
make it known by scents and tears that they have been here.
Après un Rêve
Romain Bussine, 1830-1899
based on an anonymous Tuscan text
In slumber, charmed by your image,
I dreamt of happiness – intense illusion.
Your eyes were soft, your voice pure and sonorous,
You shone like a sky illuminated by the dawn;
You called me and I left the earth
To fly away with you toward the light,
The heavens opened their clouds for us –
Unknown splendours, exquisite flashes glimpsed.
Alas! Alas, sad awakening from dreams.
I call you, oh Night – give me back your lies,
Return, return, radiant one. Return, oh
Der Doppelgänger (1824)
Heinrich Heine, 1797-1856
The night is calm, the streets are quiet.
My dear one lived in this house;
She has already left the city, long ago.
The house still stands, in the same place.
A man is standing there, staring up into space,
And wringing his hands in torment.
It horrifies me, when I see his face,
The moon shows me my own shape.
You look-a-like, you pale companion!
Why do you ape the pain of my love,
That has tortured me on this spot
So many nights, in times long ago?
René-François Sully Prudhomme, 1839-1907
Down here all lilacs die,
All the songs of the birds are short.
I dream of summers that last forever!
Down here lips brush,
Leaving nothing of their velvet,
I dream of kisses that last forever.
Down here, all men weep for
Their friendships or their loves,
I dream of couples which last forever.
Ludwig Rellstab, 1799-1860
Rushing torrent, howling forest,
Awesome crag, my shelter.
Just as each wave follows upon the last,
My tears flow, eternally renewed.
The high forest crown heaves and sways
As my heart beats ceaselessly;
And, like the ore within the ancient stone,
My pain remains unchanged forever.
Rushing torrent, Howling forest,
Awesome crag, My shelter.
Voici que le Printemps
Paul Bourget, 1852-1935
Here comes Spring, that nimble son of April,
A handsome page in a green doublet, embroidered with white roses,
Appearing agile, fresh, and with his hands on his hips,
Like a prince acclaimed, coming back from a long exile.
The branches of the green bushes form a narrow file,
The path of which he follows, dancing like a fool:
On his left shoulder he carries a nightingale,
A blackbird perches on his right shoulder.
And the flowers which were sleeping under the mosses of the wood
Open their eyes at the floating by of a shadow, faint and gentle,
And on their little feet they stretch themselves to hear
The two birds whistle and sing in unison.
For the blackbird whistles and the nightingale sings.
The blackbird whistles for those who are not loved.
And for the lovers, languishing and enchanted,
The nightingale spins out a moving song.
Au bord de l’eau
On the banks of the stream
René-François Sully-Prudhomme, 1839-1907
To sit together on the bank of the stream which passes –
To watch it passing. Together, if a cloud glides in space,
To watch it gliding.
On the horizon, if smoke comes from the chimney of a thatched cottage –
To watch the smoke.
If all around a flower spreads its perfume, then it perfumes us.
To listen, at the foot of the willow where the water murmurs,
To the murmuring water.
Not to feel that while this dream lasts, the time is dragging by,
But is bringing a deep passion to those who adore each other,
Without worrying about the quarrels of the world –
To ignore them;
And, alone together before everything that wearies you,
Not to grow weary yourself.
To feel love before everything that happens, and not to let it pass away!
An die Musik
Franz Adolf Friedrich von Schober, 1796-1882
You lovely Art, in how many grey hours,
When I was caught up in life’s wild round,
Have you lit my heart with a warmer love,
And led me to a better world!
Often has a sigh, flown from your harp –
A sweet, blessed chord from you –
Opened up to me the better while of heaven.
You dearest Art, I thank you for it.
Susanna’s Aria. Act IV
Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro)
LLibretto: Lorenzo Da Ponte, 1749-1838
Recitative: Giunse al fin il momento . . .
The moment is finally coming When I can relax without worry
In the arms of my beloved.
Timid fears, leave my heart, And don’t come to disturb my delight.
It seems that this place and even earth and heaven
respond to my heart’s loving fire, As the night lends itself to my game!
Aria: Deh vieni non tardar . . .
Come, don’t be late, my beautiful joy.
Come where love calls you to pleasure,
Until night’s torches no longer shine in the sky –
While the air is still dark And the world quiet.
Here the brook ripples and the light plays
And restores the heart with its sweet murmuring.
Here, the little flowers laugh and the grass is fresh.
Here, everything entices you to love’s pleasures.
Come, my dear, among this secret greenery.
Come, come! I want to crown you with roses.