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Seven Songs for Soprano and String Quartet

Word count: 462

Song Cycle by Adolf Weiss (1891 - 1971)

French (Français) translation: Sept chants pour soprano et quatuor à cordes (Guy Laffaille)
German (Deutsch) translation: Sieben Lieder für Sopran und Streichquartett (Bertram Kottmann)

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1. Poets [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Poètes", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


I reckon - when I count at all -
First Poets - then the Sun -
Then Summer - then the
Heaven of God -
And then - the list is done -

But - looking back - the first so seems
To comprehend the whole -
The others look a needless show -
So I write - Poets - All.

This summer lasts a solid year -
They can afford a Sun
The East would deem
Extravagant -
And if the final Heaven -

Be Beautiful as they disclose
To those who trust in them,
It is too difficult a Grace -
To justify the dream.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. A cemetery [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER ITA

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Questa polvere quieta", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


This quiet Dust was Gentlemen and Ladies,
And Lads and Girls;
Was laughter and ability and sighing,
And frocks and curls.

This passive place a Summer's nimble mansion,
Where Bloom and Bees
Fulfilled their Oriental Circuit,
Then ceased like these.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. The railway train [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


I like to see it lap the miles,
And lick the valleys up,
And stop to feed itself at tanks;
And then, prodigious, step

Around a pile of mountains,
And, supercilious, peer
In shanties by the sides of roads;
And then a quarry pare

To fit its [sides]1, and crawl between,
Complaining all the while
In horrid, hooting stanza;
Then chase itself down hill

And neigh like Boanerges;
Then, punctual as a star,
Stop - docile and omnipotent -
At its own stable door.


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1 Getty, Perle: "ribs"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Chartless [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER GER ITA

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Mai vidi una brughiera", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea;
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.

I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Mysteries [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


The murmur of a bee
A witchcraft yieldeth me.
If any ask me why,
'T were easier to die
Than tell.

The red upon the hill
Taketh away my will;
If anybody sneer,
Take care, for God is here,
That's all.

The breaking of the day
Addeth to my degree;
If any ask me how,
Artist, who drew me so,
Must tell!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. Elysium [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Elysium is as far as to
The very nearest room,
If in that room a friend await
Felicity or doom.

What fortitude the soul contains,
That it can so endure
The accent of a coming foot,
The opening of a door!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

7. I taste a liquor [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


I taste a liquor never brewed,
From tankards scooped in pearl;
Not all the vats upon the Rhine
Yield such an alcohol!

Inebriate of air am I,
And debauchee of dew,
Reeling, through endless summer days,
From inns of molten blue.

When landlords turn the drunken bee
Out of the foxglove's door,
When butterflies renounce their drams,
I shall but drink the more!

Till seraphs swing their snowy hats,
And saints to windows run,
To see the little tippler
Leaning against the sun!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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