by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806 - 1861)
Translation by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)

If thou must love me, let it be for...
Language: English 
If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only. Do not say
"I love her for her smile ... her look ... her way
Of speaking gently, ... for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day"
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee,-- and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry,
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
Thou may'st love on, through love's eternity.

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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in English, [adaptation] ; composed by Samuel Barber.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2007-12-07 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:53
Line count: 14
Word count: 121

Wenn du mich lieben mußt, so soll es nur
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Wenn du mich lieben mußt, so soll es nur
der Liebe wergen sein. Sag nicht im stillen:
«Ich liebe sie um ihres Lächelns willen,
für ihren Blick, ihr Mildsein, für die Spur,
die ihres Denkens leichter Griff in mir
zurückläßt, solche Tage zu umrändern». -
Denn diese Dinge wechseln leicht in dir,
Geliebter, wenn sie nicht sich selbst verändern.
Wer also nährt, der weiß auch, wie man trennt.
Leg auch dein Mitleid nicht zu Grund, womit
du meine Wangen trocknest; wer den Schritt
aus deinem Trost heraus nicht tut, verkennt
die Tränen schließlich und verliert mit ihnen
der Liebe Ewigkeit: ihr sollst du dienen. 

About the headline (FAQ)

Authorship

Based on

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 ]


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2009-02-19 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:08
Line count: 14
Word count: 104