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Spoken Songs

Word count: 647

Song Cycle by Arthur Koerner (1876 - 19??)

Show the texts alone (bare mode).

1. At this time of my parting [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

Translation(s): 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


At this time of my parting, 
wish me good luck, my friends! 
The sky is flushed with the dawn 
and my path lies beautiful.
Ask not what I have with me to take there.
I start on my journey with empty hands 
and expectant heart.
I shall put on my wedding garland. 
Mine is not the red-brown dress of the traveller, 
and though there are dangers on the way 
I have no fear in mind.
The evening star will come out when my voyage is done 
and the plaintive notes of the twilight melodies 
be struck up from the King's gateway.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Do not go, my love [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

Translation(s): GER ITA RUS RUS SPA

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Geh' nicht weg, mein Liebster", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Do not go, my love, without asking my leave.
I have watched all night, 
and now my eyes are heavy with sleep;
I fear lest I lose you when I am sleeping.
Do not go, my love, without asking my leave.
I start up and stretch my hands to touch you.
I ask myself, "Is it a dream?"
Could I but entangle your feet with my heart,
And hold them fast to my breast!
Do not go, my love, without asking my leave.


Submitted by Ted Perry

3. O mother, the young Prince is to pass by [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

Translation(s): FRE GER GER ITA POL SPA

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Ô mère, le jeune Prince doit passer", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


O mother, the young Prince is to pass by our door, --
how can I attend to my work this morning?
Show me how to braid up my hair; 
tell me what garment to put on.
Why do you look at me amazed, mother?
I know well he will not glance up once at my window; 
I know he will pass out of my sight in the twinkling of an eye; 
only the vanishing strain of the flute 
will come sobbing to me from afar.
But the young Prince will pass by our door, 
and I will put on my best for the moment.

O mother, the young Prince did pass by our door, 
and the morning sun flashed from his chariot.
I swept aside the veil from my face, 
I tore the ruby chain from my neck
and flung it in his path.
Why do you look at me amazed, mother?
I know well he did not pick up my chain; 
I know it was crushed under his wheels 
leaving a red stain upon the dust, 
and no one knows what my gift was nor to whom.
But the young Prince did pass by our door, 
and I flung the jewel from my breast before his path.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. It was in May [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

Translation(s): GER

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It was in May.  The sultry noon seemed endlessly long.
The dry earth gaped with thirst in the heat.

When I heard from the riverside a voice calling, "Come, my darling!"

I shut my book and opened the window to look out.

I saw a big buffalo with mud-stained hide, standing near the river 
with placid, patient eyes; and a youth, knee deep in water, 
calling it to its bath.

I smiled amused and felt a touch of sweetness in my heart.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Tell me if this be all true, my lover [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

Translation(s): GER GER

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Tell me if this be all true, my lover, tell me if this be true.

When these eyes flash their lightning 
the dark clouds in your breast make stormy answer.

Is it true that my lips are sweet 
like the opening bud of the first conscious love?

Do the memories of vanished months of May linger in my limbs?

Does the earth, like a harp, 
shiver into songs with the touch of my feet?

Is it then true that the dewdrops fall 
from the eyes of night when I am seen, 
and the morning light is glad when it wraps my body round?

Is it true, is it true, that your love travelled 
alone through ages and worlds in search of me?

That when you found me at last, your age-long desire 
found utter peace in my gentle speech 
and my eyes and lips and flowing hair?

Is it then true that the mystery of the Infinite 
is written on this little forehead of mine?

Tell me, my lover, if all this be true.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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