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The LiederNet Archive
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Dover Beach and Other Songs

Word count: 3242

by Joseph Kaufer (1909 - 1990)

Show the texts alone (bare mode).

1. Music when soft voices die [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER GER GER RUS

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Martin Stock) , "Musik, wenn leise Stimmen ersterben ...", copyright © 2002, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Music, when soft voices die,	
Vibrates in the memory;
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.

Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heaped for the belovèd's bed;
And so [thy]1 thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Bridge: "my"

Submitted by Ted Perry

2. Dover Beach [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): GER

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , "Der Strand von Dover", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


The sea is calm to-night, 
The tide is full, the moon lies fair 
Upon the straights; -- on the French coast the light 
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanch'd land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand, 
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring 
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago 
Heard it on the Ægean, and it brought 
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we 
Find also in the sound a thought, 
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith 
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore 
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl'd.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath 
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear 
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, 
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, 
Where ignorant armies clash by night.


Submitted by Peter Duyster

3. Take o take those lips away [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): DUT DUT FIN FRE FRE FRE FRE GER GER GER GER GER POL

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Take, o take those lips away,
That so sweetly [were]1 forsworn;
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights [that]2 do mislead the morn:
But my kisses bring again;
Seals of love, [but]3 seal'd in vain, sealed in vain.

[ ... ]

View original text (without footnotes)
Note: quoted by John Fletcher, in Bloody Brother, 1639 and by William Shakespeare, in Measure for Measure, Act IV, scene 1, c1604 (just one stanza)
1 Bishop: "are"
2 Bishop: "which"
3 Bishop: "tho'"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Beau soir [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: French (Français)

Translation(s): ENG GER ITA

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Fair evening", copyright © 2016
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Michael Rapke) , "Schönen Abend", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Enrico Magnani) , "Sera incantevole", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Lorsque au soleil couchant les rivières sont roses,
Et qu'un tiède frisson court sur les champs de blé,
Un conseil d'être heureux semble sortir des choses
  Et monter vers le cœur troublé ;

Un conseil de goûter le charme d'être au monde,
Cependant qu'on est jeune et que le soir est beau,
Car nous nous en allons comme s'en va cette onde :
  Elle à la mer, -- nous au tombeau !


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Not upon you alone [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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1

Flood-tide below me! I watch you face to face;
Clouds of the west! sun there half an hour high! I see you also face to face.
  
Crowds of men and women attired in the usual costumes! how curious you are to me!
On the ferry-boats, the hundreds and hundreds that cross, returning home,
    are more curious to me than you suppose;
And you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence, are more to me,
    and more in my meditations, than you might suppose.
  
2

The impalpable sustenance of me from all things, at all hours of the day;
The simple, compact, well-join'd scheme -- myself disintegrated,
    every one disintegrated, yet part of the scheme:
The similitudes of the past, and those of the future;
The glories strung like beads on my smallest sights and hearings --
    on the walk in the street, and the passage over the river;
The current rushing so swiftly, and swimming with me far away;
The others that are to follow me, the ties between me and them;
The certainty of others -- the life, love, sight, hearing of others.
  
Others will enter the gates of the ferry, and cross from shore to shore;
Others will watch the run of the flood-tide;
Others will see the shipping of Manhattan north and west,
    and the heights of Brooklyn to the south and east;
Others will see the islands large and small;
Fifty years hence, others will see them as they cross, the sun half an hour high;
A hundred years hence, or ever so many hundred years hence, others will see them,
Will enjoy the sunset, the pouring in of the flood-tide,
    the falling back to the sea of the ebb-tide.
  
3

It avails not, neither time or place -- distance avails not;
I am with you, you men and women of a generation,
    or ever so many generations hence;
I project myself -- also I return -- I am with you, and know how it is.
  
Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt;
Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one of a crowd;
Just as you are refresh'd by the gladness of the river and the bright flow,
    I was refresh'd;
Just as you stand and lean on the rail, yet hurry with the swift current,
    I stood, yet was hurried;
Just as you look on the numberless masts of ships,
    and the thick-stem'd pipes of steamboats, I look'd.
  
I too many and many a time cross'd the river, the sun half an hour high;
I watched the Twelfth-month sea-gulls -- I saw them high in the air,
    floating with motionless wings, oscillating their bodies,
I saw how the glistening yellow lit up parts of their bodies,
    and left the rest in strong shadow,
I saw the slow-wheeling circles, and the gradual edging toward the south.
  
I too saw the reflection of the summer sky in the water,
Had my eyes dazzled by the shimmering track of beams,
Look'd at the fine centrifugal spokes of light around the shape of my head 
    in the sun-lit water,
Look'd on the haze on the hills southward and southwestward,
Look'd on the vapor as it flew in fleeces tinged with violet,
Look'd toward the lower bay to notice the arriving ships,
Saw their approach, saw aboard those that were near me,
Saw the white sails of schooners and sloops -- saw the ships at anchor,
The sailors at work in the rigging, or out astride the spars,
The round masts, the swinging motion of the hulls,
    the slender serpentine pennants,
The large and small steamers in motion, the pilots in their pilot-houses,
The white wake left by the passage, the quick tremulous whirl of the wheels,
The flags of all nations, the falling of them at sun-set,
The scallop-edged waves in the twilight, the ladled cups,
    the frolicsome crests and glistening,
The stretch afar growing dimmer and dimmer,
    the gray walls of the granite store-houses by the docks,
On the river the shadowy group, the big steam-tug closely flank'd
    on each side by the barges -- the hay-boat, the belated lighter,
On the neighboring shore, the fires from the foundry chimneys
    burning high and glaringly into the night,
Casting their flicker of black, contrasted with wild red and yellow light,
    over the tops of houses, and down into the clefts of streets.
  
4

These, and all else, were to me the same as they are to you;
I project myself a moment to tell you -- also I return.
  
I loved well those cities;
I loved well the stately and rapid river;
The men and women I saw were all near to me;
Others the same -- others who look back on me, because I look'd forward to them;
(The time will come, though I stop here to-day and to-night.)
  
5

What is it, then, between us?
What is the count of the scores or hundreds of years between us?
  
Whatever it is, it avails not -- distance avails not, and place avails not.
  
6

    I too lived -- Brooklyn, of ample hills, was mine;
I too walk'd the streets of Manhattan Island, and bathed in the waters around it;
I too felt the curious abrupt questionings stir within me,
In the day, among crowds of people, sometimes they came upon me,
In my walks home late at night, or as I lay in my bed, they came upon me.
  
I too had been struck from the float forever held in solution;
I too had receiv'd identity by my Body;
That I was, I knew was of my body -- and what I should be,
    I knew I should be of my body.
  
7

It is not upon you alone the dark patches fall,
    The dark threw patches down upon me also;
The best I had done seem'd to me blank and suspicious;
My great thoughts, as I supposed them, were they not in reality meagre?
    [would not people laugh at me?]1
  
[It is not you alone who know]2 what it is to be evil;
I am he who knew what it was to be evil;
I too knitted the old knot of contrariety,
Blabb'd, blush'd, resented, lied, stole, grudg'd,
Had guile, anger, lust, hot wishes I dared not speak,
    Was wayward, vain, greedy, shallow, sly, cowardly, malignant;
The wolf, the snake, the hog, not wanting in me,
The cheating look, the frivolous word, the adulterous wish, not wanting,
Refusals, hates, postponements, meanness, laziness, none of these wanting.3
  
8

But I was Manhattanese, friendly and proud!
I was call'd by my nighest name by clear loud voices
    of young men as they saw me approaching or passing,
Felt their arms on my neck as I stood,
    or the negligent leaning of their flesh against me as I sat,
Saw many I loved in the street, or ferry-boat, or public assembly,
    yet never told them a word,
Lived the same life with the rest, the same old laughing, gnawing, sleeping,
Play'd the part that still looks back on the actor or actress,
The same old role, the role that is what we make it, as great as we like,
Or as small as we like, or both great and small.
  
9

    Closer yet I approach you;
What thought you have of me, I had as much of you -- 
    I laid in my stores in advance;
I consider'd long and seriously of you before you were born.
  
Who was to know what should come home to me?
Who knows but I am enjoying this?
Who knows but I am as good as looking at you now, for all you cannot see me?
  
It is not you alone, nor I alone; 95
Not a few races, nor a few generations, nor a few centuries;
It is that each came, or comes, or shall come, from its due emission,
From the general centre of all, and forming a part of all:
Everything indicates -- the smallest does, and the largest does;
A necessary film envelopes all, and envelopes the Soul for a proper time.
  
10

Now I am curious what sight can ever be more stately 
    and admirable to me than my mast-hemm'd Manhattan,
My river and sun-set, and my scallop-edg'd waves of flood-tide,
The sea-gulls oscillating their bodies,
    the hay-boat in the twilight, and the belated lighter;
Curious what Gods can exceed these that clasp me by the hand,
    and with voices I love call me promptly
    and loudly by my nighest name as I approach;
Curious what is more subtle than this which ties me
    to the woman or man that looks in my face,
Which fuses me into you now, and pours my meaning into you.
  
We understand, then, do we not?
What I promis'd without mentioning it, have you not accepted?
What the study could not teach -- what the preaching could not accomplish,
    is accomplish'd, is it not?
What the push of reading could not start, is started by me personally, is it not?
  
11

Flow on, river! flow with the flood-tide, and ebb with the ebb-tide!
Frolic on, crested and scallop-edg'd waves!
Gorgeous clouds of the sun-set! drench with your splendor me,
    or the men and women generations after me;
Cross from shore to shore, countless crowds of passengers!
Stand up, tall masts of Mannahatta! -- stand up, beautiful hills of Brooklyn!
Throb, baffled and curious brain! throw out questions and answers!
Suspend here and everywhere, eternal float of solution!
Gaze, loving and thirsting eyes, in the house, or street, or public assembly!
Sound out, voices of young men! loudly and musically call me by my nighest name!
Live, old life! play the part that looks back on the actor or actress!
Play the old role, the role that is great or small, according as one makes it!
  
Consider, you who peruse me, whether I may not in unknown ways
    be looking upon you;
Be firm, rail over the river, to support those who lean idly,
    yet haste with the hasting current;
Fly on, sea-birds! fly sideways, or wheel in large circles high in the air;
Receive the summer sky, you water! and faithfully hold it,
    till all downcast eyes have time to take it from you;
Diverge, fine spokes of light, from the shape of my head,
    or any one's head, in the sun-lit water;
Come on, ships from the lower bay! pass up or down,
    white-sail'd schooners, sloops, lighters!
Flaunt away, flags of all nations! be duly lower'd at sunset;
Burn high your fires, foundry chimneys! cast black shadows at nightfall!
    cast red and yellow light over the tops of the houses;
Appearances, now or henceforth, indicate what you are;
You necessary film, continue to envelop the soul;
About my body for me, and your body for you, be hung our divinest aromas;
Thrive, cities! bring your freight, bring your shows,
    ample and sufficient rivers;
Expand, being than which none else is perhaps more spiritual;
Keep your places, objects than which none else is more lasting.
  
12

We descend upon you and all things -- we arrest you all;
We realize the soul only by you, you faithful solids and fluids;
Through you color, form, location, sublimity, ideality;
Through you every proof, comparison, and all the suggestions
   and determinations of ourselves.
  
You have waited, you always wait, you dumb, beautiful ministers! you novices!
We receive you with free sense at last, and are insatiate henceforward;
Not you any more shall be able to foil us, or withhold yourselves from us;
We use you, and do not cast you aside -- we plant you permanently within us;
We fathom you not -- we love you -- there is perfection in you also;
You furnish your parts toward eternity;
Great or small, you furnish your parts toward the soul.


View original text (without footnotes)
Spelling changes used by Kaufer: meagre -> meager

1 omitted by Kaufer
2 Kaufer: "Nor is it you alone who knows"
3 Kaufer adds here: "Was one with the rest, the days and haps of the rest..."

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. For whom the bell tolls [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): GER

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


No man is an Iland, intire of itselfe;
ev'ry man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine;
if a Clod be washed away by the Sea, Europe is the less,
as well as if a Promontorie were,
as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were;
any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in Mankinde;
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.


Submitted by Laura Prichard [Guest Editor]

7. Out of my soul's great sadness [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Authorship


Based on
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856), no title, appears in Buch der Lieder, in Lyrisches Intermezzo, no. 36 CAT FRE FRE GER ITA RUS HEB ITA UKR
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Ernst Bacon, L. Biziste, János Bókay, Karl Borchers, Danilewska, Don Forsythe, Robert Franz, Gerald M. Ginsburg, Olivier Greif, Ernst Grenzebach, Robert Hermann, Hedwig Hertz, Caspar René Hirschfeld, Ludo A. Kaiser, Henning Karl Adam von Koss, Paul Kuczynski, Franz Paul Lachner, Tilo Medek, Ernest Nikolayevich Merten, Franz Mohaupt, E. Näscher, Thomas Nyàry, Hendrik Christian van Oort, Martin Plüddemann, A. Presting, Alexander Salomonovich Rasmadse, Franz Freiherr von Romaszkan, Scott Root, Erich Schröder, Wolfgang Ulrich, Severin Warteresiewicz, Hugo Wolf, Gerhard Wolff, Sergey Vladimirovich Yuferov. Go to the text.

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Out of my soul's great sadness
My little songs come winging;
Like wee, feathered birds a-singing
They fly to her heart in gladness.

They found her, and round her hover'd,
And now they're come back, and they scold me,
And yet not a songlet has told me
What they in her heart discovered.


Submitted by Laura Prichard [Guest Editor]

8. Tears, idle tears [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy Autumn fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.

Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail,
That brings our friends up from the underworld,
Sad as the last which reddens over one
That sinks with all we love below the verge;
So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.

Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns
The earliest pipe of half-awaken'd birds
To dying ears, when unto dying eyes
The casement slowly grows a glimmering square
So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.

Dear as remember'd kisses after death,
And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feign'd
On lips that are for others; deep as love,
Deep as first love, and wild with all regret;
O Death in Life, the days that are no more.


Submitted by Ted Perry

9. To Helen [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER

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Helen, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicéan barks of yore,
That gently, o'er a perfumed sea,
The weary, way-worn wanderer bore
To his own native shore.

On desperate seas long wont to roam,
Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy Naiad airs have brought me home
To the glory that was Greece,
And the grandeur that was Rome.

Lo! In yon brilliant window-niche
How statue-like I see thee stand,
The agate lamp within thy hand!
Ah, Psyche, from the regions which
Are Holy-Land!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

10. Crossing the Bar [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Sunset and evening star,
    And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
    When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
    Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
    Turns again home!

[ ... ]

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

11. The snow storm [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Authorship


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To those who see, and seeing understand
 [ ... ]


This text may be protected by copyright under Canadian copyright law, so we will not display it until we obtain permission to do so or discover it is public-domain.

12. All things living soon must perish [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English after the Italian (Italiano)

Authorship


Based on

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All things living soon shall perish,
All things, all things that men cherish,
Time is fleeting and the splendid sun 
beholdeth thought and action, sorrow, pleasure quickly ended.
Fled like shadows in a second,
Like a vapor swept away.
We were also men like you,
Gay and mournful, false and true,
Now we are but lifeless clay,
And in earth our forms must vanish.
All things living soon shall perish,
All things, all things that men cherish.


Submitted by Laura Prichard [Guest Editor]

13. How do I love thee [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): CHI GER HUN

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CHI Chinese (中文) (M.W. Wang) , "我有多麽愛你?", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as [they]1 turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I [seemed]2 to lose
With my lost saints, -- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! -- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.


View original text (without footnotes)
See also Karl Shapiro's parody How do I love you?
1 Steele: "men"
2 Steele: "seem"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

14. An den Schlaf [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: German (Deutsch) after the Latin

Translation(s): ENG ENG FRE FRE ITA

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Based on

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "To Sleep", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Au sommeil", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Stéphane Goldet) (Pierre de Rosamel) , "Au sommeil", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Sonno mio dolce!", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Schlaf! süßer Schlaf! obwohl dem Tod wie du nichts gleicht,
auf diesem Lager doch willkommen heiß' ich dich!
Denn ohne Leben so, wie lieblich lebt es sich!
So weit vom Sterben, ach, wie stirbt es sich so leicht!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

14. To sleep [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Authorship


Based on
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Eduard Mörike (1804 - 1875), "An den Schlaf" CAT FRE FRE GER ITA
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Hanns Eisler, Joseph Kaufer, Emil Kauffmann, Roger Matscheizik, Fritz Schieri, Hugo Wolf. Go to the text.

Based on

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Sleep! Blessed Sleep! the foretaste of eternity
 [ ... ]





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