Four Songs on Texts by Tagore

Song Cycle by Raymond Murray Schafer (b. 1933)

Word count: 402

German (Deutsch) translation: Vier Lieder auf Tagore-Texte ( Bertram Kottmann)

1. Gitanjali no. 1 [sung text not yet checked]

Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure. 
This frail vessel thou emptiest again and again, 
and fillest it ever with fresh life.

This little flute of a reed 
thou hast carried over hills and dales, 
and hast breathed through it 
melodies eternally new.

At the immortal touch of thy hands 
my little heart loses its limits 
in joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable.

Thy infinite gifts come to me 
only on these very small hands of mine. 
Ages pass, and still thou pourest, 
and still there is room to fill.

Authorship

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Tu m'as fait sans fin, tel est ton plaisir", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Gitanjali no. 29 [sung text not yet checked]

He whom I enclose with my name is weeping in this dungeon. 
I am ever busy building this wall all around; 
and as this wall goes up into the sky day by day 
I lose sight of my true being in its dark shadow.

I take pride in this great wall, 
and I plaster it with dust and sand 
lest a least hole should be left in this name; 
and for all the care I take 
I lose sight of my true being.

Authorship

Based on

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

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

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Gitanjali no. 2 [sung text not yet checked]

When thou commandest me to sing 
it seems that my heart would break with pride; 
and I look to thy face, and tears come to my eyes.

All that is harsh and dissonant in my life 
melts into one sweet harmony - 
and my adoration spreads wings like a glad bird 
on its flight across the sea.

I know thou takest pleasure in my singing. 
I know that only as a singer 
I come before thy presence.

I touch by the edge of the far-spreading wing 
of my song thy feet 
which I could never aspire to reach.

Drunk with the joy of singing I forget myself 
and call thee friend who art my lord.

Authorship

Based on

See other settings of this text.

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Anonymous/Unidentified Artist)
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Quand tu m'ordonnes de chanter", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Gitanjali no. 57 [sung text not yet checked]

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.

Authorship

Based on

See other settings of this text.

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

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

Researcher for this text: Geoffrey Wieting