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On the slope of the desolate river

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

On the slope of the desolate river 
among tall grasses I asked her,
'Maiden, where do you go 
shading your lamp with your mantle? 
My house is all dark and lonesome - 
lend me your light!' 
She raised her dark eyes for a moment 
and looked at my face through the dusk. 
'I have come to the river,' she said, 
'to float my lamp on the stream 
when the daylight wanes in the west.' 
I stood alone among tall grasses 
and watched the timid flame of her lamp 
uselessly drifting in the tide.

In the silence of gathering night I asked her, 
'Maiden, your lights are all lit - 
then where do you go with your lamp? 
My house is all dark and lonesome - 
lend me your light.' 
She raised her dark eyes on my face 
and stood for a moment doubtful. 
'I have come,' she said at last, 
'To dedicate my lamp to the sky.' 
I stood and watched her light
uselessly burning in the void.

In the moonless gloom of midnight I ask her, 
'Maiden, what is your quest, 
holding the lamp near your heart? 
My house is all dark and lonesome -- 
lend me your light.' 
She stopped for a minute and thought
and gazed at my face in the dark. 
'I have brought my light,' she said,
'To join the carnival of lamps.' 
I stood and watched her little lamp 
uselessly lost among lights.

Translation(s): GER

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About the headline (FAQ)

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Based on

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

    [ None yet in the database ]

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

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

Text added to the website: 2010-11-03.
Last modified: 2014-07-02 13:14:04
Line count: 36
Word count: 238

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Am Hang des traur’gen Stroms

Language: German (Deutsch) after the English

Am Hang des traur’gen Stroms 
im hohem Grase fragt’ ich sie:
„ Mädchen, wo gehst du hin 
und schirmst mit deinem Umhang deine Lampe?
Mein Haus ist dunkel, steht verlassen, - 
leih mir doch dein Licht!“
Im Dämmerlicht schaut sie mich kurz 
aus dunklen Augen an.
„Ich bin gekommen“ sagte sie, 
„mein Licht auf diesen Strom zu setzen,
jetzt, wenn des Tages letztes Licht im Westen weicht.“ 
Da stand ich nun allein im hohen Gras 
und sah das zage Licht der Lampe 
nutzlos treiben hin im Strom.

Die Nacht zog auf und 
in der tiefen Stille fragt’ ich sie:
„Mädchen, all deine Lichter brennen - 
wo gehst du denn mit deiner Lampe hin?
Mein Haus ist dunkel, steht verlassen, - 
leih mir doch dein Licht!“
Sie schaute mich aus dunklen Augen an 
und sprach nach kurzem Zweifel:
„Ich kam hierher, dem Himmel meine Lampe ganz zu weihn.“
Da stand ich nun und sah, wie sich ihr Licht 
nutzlos verzehrt’ im Nichts.

In mondlos mitternächt’gem Dunkel frag ich sie:
„Mädchen, was mühst du dich 
und birgst die Lampe nah am Herz?“
Mein Haus ist dunkel, steht verlassen, - 
leih mir doch dein Licht!“
Da hielt sie länger inne, dachte nach 
und blickte mich im Dunkel an:
„Ich hab mein Licht hierher gebracht,“ sprach sie,
„am Festumzug der Lichter teilzunehmen.“
Da stand ich nun und sah ihr kleines Licht 
nutzlos verloren unter all den andern.

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About the headline (FAQ)


  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2014 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann. Contact:
    <BKottmann (AT)>

    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:
    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on
Based on


Text added to the website: 2014-07-02.
Last modified: 2014-07-02 13:14:55
Line count: 36
Word count: 233