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Alte Liebe

Language: German (Deutsch)

Alte Liebe rostet nicht,
Hört' ich oft die Mutter sagen;
Alte Liebe rostet nicht,
Muß ich nun erfahrend klagen.

Wie die Luft umgibt sie mich,
Die ich einst [mein eigen]1 nannte,
Der ich lebte ritterlich,
Die mich in die [Weite]2 sandte.

Seit die Holde ich verlor,
Hab' ich Meer und Land gesehen, -
Vor dem schönsten Frauenflor
Durft' ich unerschüttert stehen.

[Denn ihr Bild trat vor den Geist,
Zürnend halb und halb voll Milde, -
Und was irgend Zauber heißt
Wich beschämt dem lieben Bilde.]3

Hier der Garten, dort das Haus,
Wo wir [einst so traulich]4 kos'ten!
Seh' ich recht? sie schwebt heraus -
Wird die alte Liebe rosten?

Translation(s): ENG

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Confirmed with Gedichte von Johann Mayrhofer. Neue Sammlung. Aus dessen Nachlasse mit Biographie und Vorwort herausgegeben von Ernst Freih. v. Feuchtersleben. Wien, 1843. Verlag von Ignaz Klang, Buchhändler, page 98.

Note: The poem was also posthumously published in Huldigung den Frauen. Taschenbuch für das Jahr 1839. Herausgegeben von J. F. Castelli. Siebzehnter Jahrgang. Wien bei Tendler & Schaefer, page 323. Here it has the title Jung und Alt, and the fourth stanza is omitted.

1 Mayrhofer (1839 publication): "die Meine"
2 Mayrhofer (1839 publication): "Ferne"
3 omitted in Mayrhofer (1839 publication)
4 Mayrhofer (1839 publication): "so vertraulich"

Submitted by Peter Rastl [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)

    [ None yet in the database ]

Set in a modified version by Franz Peter Schubert.

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

  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "Old love", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2017-08-05.
Last modified: 2017-12-11 11:22:47
Line count: 20
Word count: 109

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Old love

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Old love does not rust,
I often heard my mother say;
Old love does not rust,
I now have to lament this fact, having experienced it.

She surrounds me like the air,
She whom I once called my own,
Since I lived chivalrously,
She who sent me far away.

Since I lost the beauteous one
I have seen a number of seas and countries - 
In front of the bloom of the most beautiful woman
I had to stand unmoved:

For her image stepped in front of the spirit,
Half angry and half full of mercy, -
And what some might call magic
Caused her to retreat from the dear image.

Here is the garden, over there the house,
Where we often dallied so intimately!
Can I trust my eyes? She is emerging, as if floating,
Will this old love rust?

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 © 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: 2017-11-26.
Last modified: 2017-11-26 07:20:43
Line count: 20
Word count: 141