The LiederNet Archive
WARNING. Not all the material on this website is in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission.
For more information, contact us at the following address:
licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net

Ach was soll ich beginnen

Language: German (Deutsch)

Ach was soll ich beginnen
Vor Liebe?
Ach, wie sie innig durchdringet
Mein Innres!
Siehe, Jüngling, das Kleinste
Vom Scheitel
Bis zur Sohl', ist dir einzig
O Blumen! Blumen! verwelket,
Euch pfleget
Nur, bis sie Lieb' erkennet,
Die Seele.
Nichts will ich thun, wissen und haben,
Der Liebe, die mächtig mich [faßte]1,
Nur tragen.
Immer sinn' ich, was ich aus Inbrunst
Wohl könne thun,
Doch zu sehr hält mich Liebe im Druck,
Nichts läßt sie zu.
Jetzt, da ich liebe, [mögt']2 ich erst leben,
Und sterbe,
Jetzt, da ich liebe, [mögt']2 ich [hell]3 brennen,
Und welke.
Wozu auch Blumen reihen und wässern?
So sieht, wie [mich Liebe]4 entkräftet,
Sein Spähen.
Der Rose Wange will bleichen,
Auch meine.
Ihr Schmuck zerfällt, wie verscheinen
Die Kleider.
Ach Jüngling, da du mich erfreuest
Wie kann mich mit Schmerz so bestreuen
Die Freude?

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE

List of language codes

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Lacrimas, ein Schauspiel. Herausgegeben von August Wilhelm Schlegel. Berlin, Im Verlage der Realschulbuchhandlung. 1803, pages 118-119.

The text appears in Lacrimas, vierter Aufzug, zweyte Szene (Lied der Delphine).

1 Schubert: "fassen"
2 Schubert: "möcht'"
3 Schubert: "erst"
4 Schubert: "Liebe mich"
5 Schubert: "Mit"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator] and 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)

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Cançó de Delfina", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Lawrence Snyder) (Rebecca Plack) , no title, copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2018-05-17 08:18:01
Line count: 36
Word count: 143

Gentle Reminder
This website began in 1995 as a personal project, and I have been working on it full-time without a salary since 2008. Our research has never had any government or institutional funding, so if you found the information here useful, please consider making a donation. Your gift is greatly appreciated.
     - Emily Ezust

Oh, how shall I begin

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Oh, how shall I begin
For love?
Oh, how deeply it permeates
My inner being!
See, youth, the smallest part
From crown
To sole is to you alone
Oh flowers! Flowers! wither,
The soul
Tends you only until it learns
Of love.
I want to do nothing, to know and have nothing,
Only thoughts
Of love, which strongly grasp me,
Do I carry.
I'm always thinking what I in my ardor
Might do,
But too strongly does love hold me,
Letting me do nothing.
Now that I love, might I first live
Then die.
Now that I love, might I burn brightly
Then fade.
For what should I arrange and water flowers?
So he sees, how love overpowers me,
With his gazing.
The rose's cheek will pale,
Mine also.
Her charms ruined, like worn out
Ah, youth, since you delight me
With faithfulness,
How can so strewn with pain
Be joy?

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)

Translation of title "Lied der Delphine" = "Delphine's song"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Lawrence Snyder and Rebecca Plack, (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.


    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on


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

Last modified: 2018-08-12 12:18:49
Line count: 36
Word count: 154