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Wozu soll ich reden?

Language: German (Deutsch)

Wozu soll ich reden? 
Mein Wort ist so alt! 
Wozu soll ich singen?
Die Welt ist so kalt! 

Dem stürmenden Herzen
Tönt hohl es zurück,
Versunken im Meergrund 
Ist Liebe und Glück.

Wie soll ich erzählen,
Als wär' ich schon todt? --
Fast sind mir vom Weinen
Die Augen noch roth.

O! hätt' ich vergessen 
Mich selber, die Welt,
Es wäre viel besser 
[Nun]1 um mich bestellt.

Auch mich hat einst zärtlich 
Die Mutter geküßt,
Mich haben die Blumen
Als Schwester gegrüßt.

Doch nun steh' ich einsam,
Und fremd und verbannt,
Und sehne mich todt nach 
Dem sonnigen Land,

Nach einstiger Liebe
Vergessener Pein -- 
O könnt' ich noch einmal 
So unglücklich sein! 

Ich weinte noch stürmisch 
Die Augen mir roth --
Nun bin ich ein Schatten,
So kalt und so todt!

Translation(s): ENG

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About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with: Carmen Sylva, Sappho, Leipzig: F.A. Brockhaus, 1880, pages 19-20.

1 omited by Sommer.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator] and Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]


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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2013-07-10.
Last modified: 2017-05-20 07:09:52
Line count: 32
Word count: 129

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Wherefore should I speak?

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Wherefore should I speak?
My words are so old!
Wherefore should I sing?
The world is so cold!

It echoes back hollowly
To the stormy heart,
Sunk into the depths of the sea
Are love and happiness.

How should I recount,
As if I were already dead? --
From weeping my eyes
Are still almost red.

Oh! had I forgotten
Myself, the world,
It would be much better
For me [now]1.

I, too, was once kissed
Tenderly by my mother,
The flowers greeted me
As their sister.

But now I stand solitary,
And strange and exiled,
And am nearly dead with yearning
For the sunny land,

For the forgotten pain
Of former love --
Oh could I but once more
Be that unhappy!

I would still weep stormily
Until my eyes were red --
Now I am a shadow,
So cold and so dead!

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About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Translated titles:
"Wozu soll ich reden?" = "Wherefore should I speak?"
"Wozu soll ich reden? Mein Wort ist so alt!" = "Wherefore should I speak? My words are so old!"
1 Omited by Sommer.


  • 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: 2014-12-26.
Last modified: 2014-12-26 15:46:05
Line count: 32
Word count: 141