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Luisens Antwort

Language: German (Deutsch)

Wohl weinen Gottes Engel,
Wenn Liebende sich trennen,
Wie werd' ich leben können,
Geliebter ohne dich!
Gestorben allen Freuden,
Leb' ich fortan den Leiden,
Und nimmer, Wilhelm, nimmer
Vergißt Luisa dich.

Wie könnt' ich dein vergessen!
Wohin ich, Freund, mich wende,
Wohin den Blick nur sende;
Umstrahlt dein Bildniß mich.
Mit trunkenem Entzücken
Seh' ich es auf mich blicken.
Nein nimmer, Wilhelm, nimmer
Vergißt Luisa dich.

Wie könnt' ich dein vergessen!
Geröthet von Verlangen,
Wie flammten deine Wangen,
Von Inbrunst naß um mich!
Im Wiederschein der Deinen
Wie leuchteten die Meinen!
Nein nimmer, Wilhelm, nimmer
Vergißt Luisa dich.

Wie könnt' ich dein vergessen!
Vergessen, wie die Blöde
In Blick' und Nick und Rede
Die Liebe süß beschlich.
Dein zartes Liebeflehen,
Mein stammelndes Gestehen
Sollt' ich vergessen? Nimmer
Vergißt Luisa dich.

Wie könnt' ich dein vergessen!
Die Töne je verlernen,
Worin bis zu den Sternen
Du mich erhubest, mich.
Ach unauslöschlich klingen
Sie mir in Ohren, singen
Sie mir im Herzen - Nimmer
Vergißt Luisa dich.

Wie könnt' ich dein vergessen!
Vergessen deiner Briefe
Voll zarter, treuer Liebe,
Voll herben Grams um mich!
Ich will sie sorgsam wahren,
Für meinen Sarg sie sparen.
[Geliebter]1, nimmer, nimmer,
Vergißt Luisa dich.

Wie könnt' ich dein vergessen!
Vergessen jener Stunden,
Wo ich von dir umwunden,
Umflechtend [innigst]2 dich,
An deine Brust mich lehnte,
Ganz dein zu seyn mich sehnte! -
Geliebter, nimmer, nimmer
Vergißt Luisa dich.

Wie könnt' ich dein vergessen!
Vergessen je der Fragen,
Die du in schönern Tagen
Ohn' Ende fragtest: "Sprich,
Luisa, bist du meine?"
Ja, Trauter, ja, die Deine
Bin ich auf ewig. - Nimmer
Vergißt Luisa dich.

Wie könnt' ich dein vergessen!
Vergessen je der Schauer
Von Seligkeit und Trauer,
Die allgewaltig mich
An deiner Brust durchzückten,
Aus deinem Arm entrückten
Zu höhern Sphären! - Nimmer
Vergißt Luisa dich.

Wie könnt' ich dein vergessen!
Vergessen je der Qualen,
Womit aus goldnen Schalen
Die Liebe tränkte mich!
Was ich um dich gelitten,
[Was ich um dich]3 gestritten
Sollt' ich vergessen? Nimmer
Vergißt Luisa dich.

Ich kann dich nicht vergessen,
Auf jedem meiner Tritte,
In meiner Lieben Mitte,
Umschwebt dein Bildniß mich.
Auf meiner Leinwand schimmerts,
An meinem Vorhang flimmerts,
[Geliebter]1, nimmer, nimmer
Vergißt Luisa dich.

Ich kann dich nicht vergessen.
Mit jedem goldnen Morgen
Erwacht mein zärtlich Sorgen,
Mein Seufzen, ach, um dich!
"Wo weilst du itzt, du Einer?
Was denkst du itzt du Meiner?
Denkst du auch an Luisen?
Luisa denkt an dich!"

Ich kann dich nicht vergessen.
Des Nachts auf meinem Bette
Gemahnt michs oft, als hätte
Dein Arm umschlungen mich.
Des [Penduls]4 Schwingung weckt mich,
Das Horn des Wächters schreckt mich.
Allein bin ich im [Dunkel]5,
Und weine still um dich.

Ich kann dich nicht vergessen.
Nicht fremde Huldigungen,
Nicht Sklavenanbetungen,
O Freund, verdrängen dich.
Luisa liebt nur Einen,
Nur Einen kann sie meinen,
Nur Einen nie vergessen,
Vergessen nimmer dich.

Luisa liebt nur Einen,
Verschmäht des Stutzers Schmeicheln,
Verhöhnt sein süsslich Heucheln,
Gedenkt, o Wilhelm, dein;
Denkt deines Geistes Adel,
Dein Lieben sonder Tadel
Dein Herz so treu, so bieder -
Und brennt für dich allein.

Für dich nur mag ich brennen,
Für dich, für dich nur fühlen.
Dieß Feuer in mir kühlen
Mag Zeit, mag Ferne nicht.
Von dir, von dir mich scheiden
Mag Freude nicht, nicht Leiden,
Mag nicht die Hand des Todes,
Selbst dein Vergessen nicht.

Selbst, wenn du falsch und treulos
An fremde Brust dich schmiegtest,
In fremdem Arm dich wiegtest,
Vergessend Schwur und Pflicht
In fremden Flammen brenntest,
Luisen gar verkenntest,
Luisen gar vergässest -
Ich, ach! [vergäss']6 dich nicht!

Verachtet und vergessen,
Verloren und verlassen,
Könnt' ich dich doch nicht hassen;
Still grämen würd ich mich,
Bis Tod sich mein erbarmte,
Das Grab mich kühl umarmte -
Doch auch im Grab', im Himmel,
O Wilhelm, liebt' ich dich! 

[In mildem Engelglanze]7
Würd' ich dein Bett umschimmern,
Und [zärtlich dich umwimmern]8:
"Ich bin Luisa, ich!
Luisa kann nicht hassen,
Luisa dich nicht lassen,
Luisa kommt, zu segnen,
Und liebt auch droben dich."


Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG ENG FRE

List of language codes

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with L.T.Kosegarten's Poesieen, Neueste Auflage, Zweyter Band, Berlin 1803, pages 216-222; and with Kosegarten's Dichtungen. Siebenter Band. Lyrischer Gedichte Siebentes, achtes, neutes Buch. Greifswald, gedruckt beym Königl. Directeur J.H. Eckhardt. 1813, pages 169-176.

First published in a substantially different version (with one more stanza) in the "Göttinger Musenalmanach 1787" (see below).

1 later editions (since 1812): "Nein, Wilhelm"
2 later editions (since 1812): "innig"
3 later editions (since 1812): "Gerungen und"
4 later editions (since 1812): "Pendels"
5 later editions (since 1812): "Dunkeln"
6 later editions (since 1812): "vergeß"
7 later editions (since 1812): "Im Graun der Mitternächte"
8 later editions (since 1812): "leis' ins Ohr dir wimmern"

Submitted by Richard Morris and Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

Authorship

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

Another version of this text exists in the database.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "La resposta de Lluïsa", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Louisa's antwoord", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , "Luisa’s answer", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "Luisa´s reply", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "La réponse de Louise", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


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

Last modified: 2017-06-11 13:07:11
Line count: 152
Word count: 661

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Luisa´s reply

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

It is indeed true that God's angels weep
When lovers separate.
How am I going to be able to live,
Beloved, without you?
All joys have died,
I shall live from now on for suffering, 
And never, Wilhelm, never
Will Luisa forget you.

How could I forget you?
Friend, where-ever I turn,
Where-ever I cast my glance,
Your image is shining around me.
With drunken delight
I see it shining on me.
No never, Wilhelm, never
Will Luisa forget you.

How could I forget you?
Made red by longing,
How your cheeks burned,
Made wet by your ardour for me!
In the reflection of yours
How much my own lit up!
No never, Wilhelm, never
Will Luisa forget you.

How could I forget you?
To forget how shyness
Gave itself away with looks and nods and speech and
Love sweetly crept up on me.
Your tender pleading for love,
My stammering confession,
Should I forget it? Never
Will Luisa forget you.

How could I forget you?
To forget at any time the notes
With which I was lifted to the stars
You lifted me up to the stars, me.
Oh, they still resound unceasingly
In my ears, and they are being sung
In my heart. Never
Will Luisa forget you.

How could I forget you?
To forget your letters
Full of pure tender love
And full of bitter grief for me!
I shall hold on to them carefully
And preserve them for my tomb.
Beloved, never, never,
Will Luisa forget you.

How could I forget you?
To forget each hour
When I, embraced by you,
Interwoven with you most intimately,
When I lay on your breast
Longing to be totally yours!
Beloved, never, never,
Will Luisa forget you.

How could I forget you?
To forget at any time the questions
Which on more beautiful days you
Used to ask ceaselessly: "Tell me,
Luisa, are you mine?"
Yes, devoted one, yes, yours
I am your for ever - never
Will Luisa forget you.

How could I forget you?
To forget at any time the shudder
Of bliss and mourning,
Which with great power
Pulled me towards your breast
And then took me from your arms, being carried off
To higher spheres! - never
Will Luisa forget you.

How could I forget you?
To forget at any time the anxiety
With which, from golden vessels
I would drink love!
What I have suffered for you,
What I have fought for for your sake,
Should I forget it? Never
Will Luisa forget you.

I cannot forget you.
With each step I take,
In the middle of my life,
Your image hovers around me.
It shimmers on my canvas,
It flickers on my curtain.
Beloved, never, never
Will Luisa forget you.

I cannot forget you.
With each golden morning
My tender concern awakes,
My sighs, oh, for you!
"Where are you now, you only one?
What are you thinking now, you who are mine?
Are you also thinking of Luisa?
Luisa is thinking of you!"

I cannot forget you.
At night on my bed
I am often reminded of you, as if
Your arms were embracing me.
The swinging of the pendulum wakes me up.
The night watchman´s horn frightens me.
I am alone in the darkness,
And I weep quietly because of you.

I cannot forget you.
No declarations of devotion by strangers,
No adoration by people calling themselves my slave
Will take your place, oh friend.
Luisa loves only one person,
She can only think about one person,
There is only one person she can never forget,
Never forget you.

Luisa loves only one person.
Fops' flatteries are scorned,
Their sweet hypocrisies are mocked,
It is you, oh Wilhelm, that she thinks about;
She thinks about the nobility of your spirit,
Your spotless love,
Your heart so true, so upright - 
And she burns for you alone.

It is only for you that I may burn,
For you, for you alone that I feel.
For this fire to cool in me
Time and distance will not permit it.
From you, to cut myself off from you,
Neither joy nor sorrow will allow it,
Even the hand of death will not permit it,
Or even just forgetting you.

Even if you were false and faithless
Cuddling up to a stranger's breast,
Being rocked in a stranger's arms,
Forgetting your oath and duty
Burning in alien flames,
If you even misjudged Luisa
Or even forgot her - 
Oh I! I would not forget you!

Despised and forgotten,
Lost and abandoned,
I could still not hate you.
I would grieve quietly
Until death offered me solace.
Should the grave give me its cold embrace - 
But also in the grave, in heaven,
O Wilhelm, I would love you.

In the gentle gaze of an angel
I would shimmer around your bed
And tenderly whimper around you.
"I am Luisa, it is I!
Luisa can not hate you,
Luisa will not leave you,
Luisa has come to bless you,
And she loves you even up in the world beyond."


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Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2017 by Malcolm Wren, (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: 2017-07-14.
Last modified: 2017-07-14 13:50:59
Line count: 152
Word count: 843