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Wenige wissen

Language: German (Deutsch)

Wenige wissen
Das Geheimniß der Liebe,
Fühlen Unersättlichkeit
Und ewigen Durst.
Des Abendmahls
Göttliche Bedeutung
Ist den irdischen Sinnen Räthsel;
Aber wer jemals
Von heißen, geliebten Lippen
Athem des Lebens sog,
Wem heilige Glut
In zitternde Wellen das Herz schmolz,
Wem das Auge aufging,
Daß er des Himmels
Unergründliche Tiefe maß,
Wird essen von seinem Leibe
Und trinken von seinem Blute 
Wer hat des irdischen Leibes
Hohen Sinn errathen?
[Wer kann sagen,
Daß er das Blut versteht?
Einst ist alles Leib,
Ein Leib,
In himmlischem Blute
Schwimmt das selige Paar. -

O! daß das Weltmeer
Schon erröthete,
Und in duftiges Fleisch 
Aufquölle der Fels!]2
Nie endet das süße Mahl,
Nie sättigt die Liebe sich.
Nicht innig, nicht eigen genug
Kann sie haben den Geliebten.
Von immer zärteren Lippen
Verwandelt wird das Genossene
Inniglicher und näher.
Heißere Wollust
Durchbebt die Seele,
Durstiger und hungriger
Wird das Herz:
Und so [währet]3 der Liebe Genuß
Von Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit.
[Hätten die Nüchternen
Einmal [nur]4 gekostet,
Alles verließen sie,
Und setzten sich zu uns
An den Tisch der Sehnsucht,
Der nie leer wird.
[Sie]5 erkennten der Liebe
Unendliche Fülle,
Und priesen die Nahrung
Von Leib und Blut.]6

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG ENG FRE

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Confirmed with Novalis Schriften. Herausgegeben von Friedrich Schlegel und Ludwig Tieck. Zweiter Theil. Berlin, 1802. In der Buchhandlung der Realschule, pages 138-140; with Novalis Schriften. Herausgegeben von Ludwig Tieck und Fr. Schlegel. Dritte Auflage. Zweiter Theil. Berlin, 1815. In der Realschulbuchhandlung, pages 29-31; and with Novalis Schriften. Kritische Neuausgabe auf Grund des handschriftlichen Nachlasses von Ernst Heilborn. Erster Theil. 1901. Druck und Verlag von Georg Reimer Berlin, pages 342-343.

First published in Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1802. Herausgegeben von A. W. Schlegel und L. Tieck. Tübingen, in der Cotta'schen Buchhandlung, 1802, pages 202-204.

1 Schubert: "Ewig, ewiglich"
2 omitted by Diepenbrock
3 Schubert: "währt"
4 inserted by Schubert
5 Schubert (Neue Gesamtausgabe): "Und"
6 omitted by A. Mahler

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):

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

Last modified: 2019-06-10 09:42:45

Line count: 53
Word count: 194

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Few know/ The secret of love

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Few know
The secret of love,
Feel  unquenchable
Eternal thirst.
[Holy] communion's 
Innermost sense
Remains a secret to us mere mortals;
But who ever 
sucked in the breath of life
From hot, beloved lips,
Whom holy scorching waves
Tremblingly melted the heart,
Who with suddenly seeing eyes,
Divined heaven's 
immeasurable depth,
Will eat from His body
Will drink from His blood
Who has fathomed the essential meaning 
of  our earthly flesh?
Who can tell,
that he understands the blood?
Once all is flesh,
One flesh,
In heavenly blood
Floats the blessed couple.

O! That the ocean
would blush
And in fragrant skin
Would upwell the rock!
Never would end the sweet delecting,
Never be saturated the love;
Not close enough, not intimate enough
Can she have the beloved.
By ever more tender lips
The relished will grow 
more and more to the heart.
Hotter lust 
Trembles through the soul,
More thirsty and hungry
Becomes the heart:
And so persists love's indulgence/pleasure
From eternity to eternity.
If only once would the sober-minded 
Have a taste,
They would gladly leave everything behind,
And sit and dine with us
From the table of longing
Which never empties.
They would recognize love's
Immeasurable fullness,
And praise the nourishment
Of flesh and blood.

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  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2005 by Linda Godry, (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: 2005-03-22 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2017-09-13 20:55:30

Line count: 53
Word count: 209