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Grau sind meine Haare

Language: German (Deutsch)

Grau sind meine Haare,
Meine Augen werden trüb und blind,
An die [sechzigmal]1 im Gang der Jahre
Wieg' ich schon das liebe Jesuskind.

Vor der [heil'gen]2 Krippen
Brennen alle Lichter am Altar,
Wieder singen meine müden Lippen,
Singen heute wie in jedem Jahr:

    Puer natus in Bethlehem, eia!
    Unde gaudet Jerusalem, eia!
    Schlaf, mein liebes Kindelein!

Welk und lose liegen
Meine Finger an dem Wiegenband,
Wenn die jungen Laienschwestern wiegen,
Fliegt die Wiege unter ihrer Hand.

Ihre Lider brennen
Heute seltsam heiß und überwacht, --
Sollt' ich nicht aus fernen Tagen kennen,
Was so junge Augen träumen macht?

    Puer natus in Bethlehem, eia!
    Unde gaudet Jerusalem, eia!
    Schlaf, mein liebes Kindelein!

Singen, immer singen!
Unser Atem geht im Frost wie Rauch,
Mit der ew'gen Ampel leisem Schwingen
Schwangt der Wölbung schwarzer Schatten auch.

Wiegen, immer wiegen
Einer leeren Wiege Gaukelschein, --
Seh' ich nicht ein süßes Leben liegen,
Ohne Glanz und Glorie, -- aber mein?

Ihr in Stall und Krippen,
Benedeite Mutter, heilig Kind,
Frevel ist die Andacht meiner Lippen,
Die nach Erdenglücke durstig sind!

Sieben Schwerter schneiden
In das Mutterherz dir tief und scharf,
Siebenmal will [deine Qual]3 ich leiden,
Wenn ich deine Freuden trinken darf!

    Puer natus in Bethlehem, eia!
    Unde gaudet Jerusalem, eia!
    Schlaf, mein liebes Kindelein!

Doch der Herr der Zeiten
Ließ die Jahre gehn durch meine Hand,
Wie beim Ave mir die Perlen gleiten
An des heil'gen Rosenkranzes Band.

In der leeren Wiegen
Sucht mein Wahn kein irdisch Leben mehr.
Welt, du eitle, deine Lieder schwiegen,
Meine Augen sinken schlummerschwer.

Durch der Lichter Glimmen
Schleicht ein blasses Rot ins Fenster sacht, --
Singt nur, Schwestern, mit den jungen Stimmen,
Singt, -- ein Ende kommt auch unsrer Nacht!

    Puer natus in Bethlehem, eia!
    Unde gaudet Jerusalem, eia!
    Schlaf, mein liebes Kindelein!


Translation(s): ENG

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Confirmed with Lulu von Strauß und Torney, Reif steht die Saat. Neue Balladen, Jena: Eugen Diederichs, 1919, pages 6-7

1 Lissauer: "sechzig Mal"
2 Lissauer: "heiligen"
3 Lissauer: "deinen Schmerz"

Submitted by Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor] and Harry Joelson

Authorship

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) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Text added to the website: 2007-06-11.
Last modified: 2017-02-26 19:28:55
Line count: 56
Word count: 290

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My hair is grey

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

My hair is grey,
My eyes are becoming clouded and blind,
Nearly sixty times in the passing of the years
I have already rocked the dear Christchild.

Before the holy manger
All the lights of the altar are burning;
Again my weary lips are singing,
Singing today as in every year:

    Puer natus in Bethlehem, lulla! [A son is born in Bethlehem!]
    Unde gaudet Jerusalem, lulla! [Hence, rejoice Jerusalem!]
    Sleep, my dear little child!

Wilted and slack, my fingers
Lie upon the cradle ribbon;
When the young oblates rock,
The cradle flies under their hand.

Their eyelids burn
Today, strangely fervent and guarded, --
From days of long ago should I not recognize
What makes such young eyes dream?

    Puer natus in Bethlehem, lulla! [A son is born in Bethlehem!]
    Unde gaudet Jerusalem, lulla! [Hence, rejoice Jerusalem!]
    Sleep, my dear little child!

To sing, ever to sing!
Our breath looks like smoke in the frost;
With the slow swinging of the sanctuary lamp
The black shadow of the vaulted ceiling sways as well.

To rock, ever to rock
The sham of an empty cradle, --
Do I not see a sweet little life lying there,
Without radiance and glory, -- but my own?

You in the stable and manger,
Blessed Mother, Holy Child,
Sacrilege are the devotions of my lips
That thirst for earthly happiness!

Seven swords pierce
Deeply and sharply into your maternal heart,
Seven times would I suffer your [agony]1,
If I could savour your joys!

    Puer natus in Bethlehem, lulla! [A son is born in Bethlehem!]
    Unde gaudet Jerusalem, lulla! [Hence, rejoice Jerusalem!]
    Sleep, my dear little child!

But the Lord of the times
Let the years flow through my hand
As during the Ave the pearls slip
Upon the string of the holy rosary.

In the empty cradle,
My delusion no longer seeks an earthly life.
You world full of vanity, your songs fall silent,
My eyes sink, heavy with slumber.

Through the glimmering of the lights,
A pale redness creeps gently into the window, --
Only sing, sisters, with your young voices,
Sing, -- an end to our night shall come as well!

    Puer natus in Bethlehem, lulla! [A son is born in Bethlehem!]
    Unde gaudet Jerusalem, lulla! [Hence, rejoice Jerusalem!]
    Sleep, my dear little child!


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.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Translations of title(s):
"Die Nonne : Ballade von Lulu von Strauss und Torney" = "Die Nonne : Ballade von Lulu von Strauss und Torney = The nun: ballad by Lulu von Strauss und Torney"
"Die Nonne" = "The nun"

1 Lissauer: "pain"

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2017 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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Text added to the website: 2017-02-28.
Last modified: 2017-02-28 10:53:06
Line count: 56
Word count: 376