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Gitanjali

Word count: 964

Song Cycle by Josef Alexander (1907 - 1992)

Show the texts alone (bare mode).

1. Light, my light [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

Translation(s): FRE FRE GER GER ITA

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  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Light, my light, the world-filling light,
the eye-kissing light, heart-sweetening light!

Ah, the light dances, my darling, at the centre of my life;
the light strikes, my darling, the chords of my love;
the sky opens, the wind runs wild, laughter passes over the earth.

The butterflies spread their sails on the sea of light.
Lilies and jasmines surge up on the crest of the waves of light.

The light is shattered into gold on every cloud, my darling,
and it scatters gems in profusion.

Mirth spreads from leaf to leaf, my darling,
and gladness without measure. 
The heaven's river has drowned its banks 
and the flood of joy is abroad.


Submitted by Geoffrey Wieting

2. Yes, I know [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

Translation(s): DUT FRE GER GER ITA

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Yes, I know, this is nothing but thy love,
O beloved of my heart --
this golden light that dances upon the leaves, 
these idle clouds sailing across the sky, 
this passing breeze leaving 
its coolness upon my forehead.

The morning light has flooded my eyes --
this is thy message to my heart.
Thy face is bent from above, 
thy eyes look down on my eyes, 
and my heart has touched thy feet.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Is it beyond thee [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

Translation(s): GER

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Is it beyond thee to be glad with the gladness of this rhythm? 
To be tossed and lost and broken in the whirl of this fearful joy?

All things rush on, they stop not, they look not behind, 
no power can hold them back, they rush on.

Keeping steps with that restless, rapid music, 
seasons come dancing and pass away - 
colours, tunes, and perfumes pour in endless cascades 
in the abounding joy 
that scatters and gives up and dies every moment.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. What divine drink [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

Translation(s): GER

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


What divine drink wouldst thou have, my God, 
from this overflowing cup of my life?

My poet, is it thy delight 
to see thy creation through my eyes 
and to stand at the portals of my ears silently 
to listen to thine own eternal harmony?

Thy world is weaving words in my mind 
and thy joy is adding music to them. 
Thou givest thyself to me in love 
and then feelest 
thine own entire sweetness in me.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

Translation(s): GER

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Deliverance is not for me in renunciation. 
I feel the embrace of freedom in a thousand bonds of delight.

Thou ever pourest for me 
the fresh draught of thy wine of various colours and fragrance, 
filling this earthen vessel to the brim.

My world will light its hundred different lamps with thy flame 
and place them before the altar of thy temple.

No, I will never shut the doors of my senses. 
The delights of sight and hearing and touch 
will bear thy delight.

Yes, all my illusions will burn into illumination of joy, 
and all my desires ripen into fruits of love.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. Day after day [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

Translation(s): GER IRI

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  • IRI Irish (Gaelic) [singable] (Gabriel Rosenstock) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Day after day, O lord of my life, 
shall I stand before thee face to face? 
With folded hands, O lord of all worlds, 
shall I stand before thee face to face?

Under thy great sky in solitude and silence, 
with humble heart 
shall I stand before thee face to face?

In this laborious world of thine, 
tumultuous with toil and with struggle, 
among hurrying crowds 
shall I stand before thee face to face?

And when my work shall be done in this world, 
O King of kings, 
alone and speechless shall I stand before thee
face to face?


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

7. Time is endless [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

Translation(s): GER GER

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Time is endless in thy hands, my lord. 
There is none to count thy minutes.

Days and nights pass 
and ages bloom and fade like flowers. 
Thou knowest how to wait.

Thy centuries follow each other 
perfecting a small wild flower.

We have no time to lose, 
and having no time 
we must scramble for a chance. 
We are too poor to be late.

And thus it is that time goes by 
while I give it to every querulous man who claims it, 
and thine altar is empty of all offerings to the last.

At the end of the day I hasten in fear 
lest thy gate to be shut; 
but I find that yet there is time.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

8. I know that the day will come [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

Translation(s): GER GER SWE

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SWE Swedish (Svenska) (Andrea Butenschön) , first published 1915


I know that the day will come 
when my sight of this earth shall be lost, 
and life will take its leave in silence, 
drawing the last curtain over my eyes. 

Yet stars will watch at night, 
and morning rise as before, 
and hours heave like sea waves 
casting up pleasures and pains.

When I think of this end of my moments,
the barrier of the moments breaks
and I see by the light of death
thy world with its careless treasures.
Rare is its lowliest seat,
rare is its meanest of lives.

Things that I longed for in vain
and things that I got -- let them pass.
Let me but truly possess the things 
that I ever spurned and overlooked.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

9. On the day [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

Translation(s): FIN FRE GER GER GER SWE

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Thomas Schubert) , copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission [an adaptation]
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


On the day when death will knock at thy door,
what wilt thou offer to him?

Oh, I will set before my guest the full vessel of my life;
I will never let him go with empty hands.

All the sweet vintage of all my autumn days and summer nights,
all the earnings and gleanings of my busy life,
will I place before him at the close of my days
when death will knock at my door.


Submitted by Geoffrey Wieting

10. O thou [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

Translation(s): DUT FRE GER GER

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


O thou the last fulfilment of life, 
Death, my death, come and whisper to me!
Day after day I have kept watch for thee; 
for thee have I borne the joys and pangs of life.
All that I am, that I have, that I hope 
and all my love have ever flowed towards thee 
in depth of secrecy. 
One final glance from thine eyes 
and my life will be ever thine own.
The flowers have been woven and the garland 
is ready for the bridegroom. 
After the wedding the bride shall leave her home
and meet her lord alone 
in the solitude of night.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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