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Four Poems

Word count: 425

Song Cycle by Margaret Carter Metcalf (d. 1957)

German (Deutsch) translation: Vier Gedichte (Bertram Kottmann)

Show the texts alone (bare mode).

1. If thou speakest not [ sung text not verified ]

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

Translation(s): FRE GER ITA SPA 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


If thou speakest not
I will fill my heart with thy silence
and endure it.
I will keep still
and wait like the night
with starry vigil 
and its head bent low with patience.
The morning will surely come,
the darkness will vanish,
and thy voice pour down
in golden streams
breaking through the sky.
Then thy words will take wing
in songs from every one
of my birds' nests,
and thy melodies
will break forth
in flowers in all
my forest groves.


Submitted by Emily Ezust

2. Day after day [ sung text not verified ]

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

3. This autumn morning [ sung text not verified ]

Language: English

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


This autumn morning is tired with excess of light, 
and if your songs grow fitful and languid 
give me your flute awhile.

I shall but play with it as the whim takes me, -- 
now take it on my lap, now touch it with my lips, 
now keep it by my side on the grass.

But in the solemn evening stillness I shall gather flowers, 
to deck it with wreaths, I shall fill it with fragrance; 
I shall worship it with the lighted lamp.

Then at night I shall come to you and give you back your flute.

You will play on it the music of midnight 
when the lonely crescent moon wanders among the stars.


Submitted by Emily Ezust

4. Speak to me, my love! [ sung text not verified ]

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

Translation(s): FRE FRE GER GER ITA POL

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

  • FRE French (Fran├žais) (Guy Laffaille) , "Parle-moi, mon amour !", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Speak to me, my love! 
Tell me in words what you sang.
The night is dark. 
The stars are lost in clouds.
The wind is sighing through the leaves.
I will let loose my hair.
My blue cloak will cling round me like [night]1.
I will clasp your head to my bosom;
And there in the sweet loneliness 
murmur on your heart.
I will shut my eyes and listen.
I will not look in your face.
When your words are ended, 
we will sit still and silent.
Only the trees will whisper in the dark.
The night will pale. 
The day will dawn.
We shall look at each other's eyes 
and go on our different paths.
Speak to me, my love! 
Tell me in words what you sang.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Bridge: "the night"

Submitted by Ted Perry

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