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Maidenflowers

Word count: 460

Song Cycle by Richard Georg Strauss (1864 - 1949)

Original language: Mädchenblumen

1. Cornflowers

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive -- http://www.lieder.net/

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

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Cornflowers I call these figures
that gently, with blue eyes,
preside quietly and modestly,
placidly drinking the dew of peace
from their own pure souls,
communicating with everything that is near,
unconscious of the precious sensitivity
that they have received from the hand of God.
You feel so good among them,
as if you were going through a field of crops
through which the breath of evening blew,
full of pious quietude and full of mildness.


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2. Poppies

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive -- http://www.lieder.net/

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

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 They are poppies, those round,
 red-blooming, healthy ones
 that bloom and bake in the summer
 and are always in a cheery mood,
 good and happy as a king,
 their souls never tired of dancing;
 they weep beneath their smiles
 and seem born only
 to tease the cornflowers;
 yet nevertheless,
 the softest, best hearts often hide
 among the climbing ivy of jests;
 God knows one would wish to  
 suffocate them with kisses
 were one not so afraid
 that, embracing the hoyden,
 she would spring up into a full blaze
 and go up in flames.


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3. Ivy

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive -- http://www.lieder.net/

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

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But ivy is what I call that maiden
with soft words,
with the simple, bright hair,
gently waving brown about her,
with brown, soulful doe's eyes,
who so often stands in tears,
in her tears simply irresistible;
without strength and self-consciousness,
unadorned with secret blossoms,
yet with an inexhaustible, deep
true inner sentience
that under her own power she can
never yank herself up by the roots;
such are born to twine
lovingly about another life:
upon her first love 
she rests her entire life's fate,
for she is counted among those rare flowers,
those that only blossom once.


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4. Waterlily

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive -- http://www.lieder.net/

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

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 Do you know the flower, the fantastic
 waterlily, celebrated in myth?
 On a slim, ethereal stem bobs
 its translucent, colorless head;
 it blooms by reedy pools in groves,
 protected by the swan, who circles it in solitary vigil;
 it opens only in the moonlight
 with which it shares its silver glimmer:
 thus does it bloom, the magical sister of the star,
 idolized for its dreamy, dark tendrils
 which by the edge of the pool can be seen from afar,
 never reaching what it years for.
 Waterlily, so do I call the slim
 maiden with night-dark locks and alabaster cheeks,
 with deep foreboding thoughts showing in her eyes 
 as if they were ghosts imprisoned on Earth.
 When she speaks, it is like the silvery rushing of water;
 when she is silent, it is the pregnant silence of the moonlit night.
 She seems to have exchanged radiant expressions with the stars,
 whose language, of the same nature, she has grown accustomed to.
 You can never grow weary of gazing in those eyes
 fringed with silky, long lashes, 
 and you believe, as if blessedly, terrifyingly bewitched,
 whatever the Romatics have dreamed about Elves.


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