Translation © by Emily Ezust

Serenade
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG FRE
Leise, um dich nicht zu wecken,
Rauscht der Nachtwind, teure Frau!
Leise in das Marmorbecken
Gießt der Brunnen seinen Tau.

Wie das Wasser, niedertropfend,
Kreise neben Kreise zieht,
Also zittert, leise klopfend,
Mir das Herz bei diesem Lied.

Schwingt euch, Töne meiner Zither,
Schwingt euch aufwärts, flügelleicht;
Durch das rebumkränzte Gitter
In der Schönen Kammer schleicht.

»Ist denn, liebliche Dolores«,
Also singt in ihren Traum -
»In der Muschel deines Ohres
Für kein Perlenwörtchen Raum?

Denk der Laube, dicht vergittert,
Wo, umrankt von Duftgesträuch,
Ihr in Seligkeit gezittert,
Wie die Blätter über euch!

War der Platz doch still und sicher
Und kein Zeuge hat gelauscht;
Selten, daß ein abendlicher
Vogel durch das Laub gerauscht.

O dem Freund noch eine Stunde,
Wo dein Arm ihn so umschlingt,
Und der Kuß von deinem Munde
Feurig bis ans Herz ihm dringt!

Hast du ihn so ganz vergessen?
Einsam harrt er am Balkon,
Überm Wipfel der Zypressen
Bleicht des Mondes Sichel schon.

Wie das Wasser, niedertropfend,
Kreise neben Kreise zieht,
Also zittert, leise klopfend,
Ihm das Herz bei diesem Lied.«

J. Brahms sets stanzas 1-4, 7-9

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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 (Emily Ezust) , title 1: "Serenade", copyright © 1998
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "Sérénade", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , title 1: "Serenade", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
Serenade
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Gently, so as not to awaken you,
Rustles the night wind, dear woman!
Quietly into the marble basin
The fountain pours its dew.

As the water, dripping down,
Draws circle after circle,
So, gently pounding, does my heart
Tremble at this song.

Vibrate, o sounds of my zither,
Float upwards, on light wings;
Through the vine-wreathed lattice
Slip into my darling's boudoir.

"Is there then, my lovely Dolores,"
sing to her in her dream -
"In the mussel-shell of your ears,
Is there no room for pearl-like little words?

Think of the leaves, thickly enclosing the trellis,
Where, entwined among sweet-scented bushes,
You trembled in bliss,
Like the leaves above you!

The place was yet still and safe
And nothing espied us;
It was seldom that a night
Bird rustled in the foliage. 

O give your friend one more hour,
When your arms enfold him thus,
And a kiss from your mouth 
Pierces his heart like fire!

Have you so completely forgotten him?
Alone, he awaits you on the balcony;
Over the tops of the cypresses
The sickle-moon is already turning pale.

As the water, dripping down,
Draws circle after circle,
So, gently pounding, does his heart
Tremble at this song.

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Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 1998 by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive -- http://www.lieder.net/

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.


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