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Gestern war ich Atlas

Language: German (Deutsch)

Gestern war ich Atlas, der den Himmel trug,
Als der Liebsten Herz auf meinem Busen schlug;
Ihrer Augen Sonnen kreisten über mir
Und wie Äther spielt um mich ihr Atemzug.

O zieh den Liebesknoten fester zu noch!
So lang ich athme fand ich keine Ruh' noch.
Laß mich in dir ausathmen! Mir fehlt etwas,
So lang ich etwas andres bin als du noch.

Mir ist dein Kuß je länger, je lieber,
Dein Arm ist mir je länger, je lieber,
Zwar macht dein Kuß, der lange, mir bange,
Mir [aber ist]1 je bänger, je lieber.

Translation(s): ENG FRE

List of language codes

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Strauss: "ist aber"

Submitted by Alberto Pedrotti


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

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

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , title 1: "Yesterday I was Atlas", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Hier j'étais Atlas", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:48
Line count: 12
Word count: 94

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Yesterday I was Atlas

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Yesterday I was Atlas, who carried the heavens,
When the heart of my beloved beat against my breast;
The sun of her eyes revolved above me
And like an Aether her breath played about me.

Oh, tighten the knot of Love even more!
As long as I am breathing I do not yet find any rest.
Let me exhale in you!  I lack something
As long as I am yet something other than you.

To me your kiss is the more dear the longer it lasts,
Your arms are the more dear, the longer [they embrace me],
To be sure your kiss, your long kiss, causes me anxiety,
But the more anxiety, the better I like it.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The material directly above is protected by copyright and appears here by special permission. If you wish to copy it and distribute it, you must obtain permission or you will be breaking the law. Once you have permission, you must give credit to the author and display the copyright symbol ©. Copyright infringement is a criminal offense under international law.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2014 by Sharon Krebs, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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Based on


Text added to the website: 2014-04-15.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:05:32
Line count: 12
Word count: 117