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The LiederNet Archive
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Heiß mich nicht reden, heiß mich...

Language: German (Deutsch)

Heiß mich nicht reden, heiß mich schweigen,
Denn mein Geheimniß ist mir Pflicht;
Ich möchte dir mein ganzes Innre zeigen,
Allein das Schicksal will es nicht.

[Zur rechten]1 Zeit vertreibt der Sonne Lauf
Die finstre Nacht, und sie muß sich erhellen;
Der harte Fels schließt seinen Busen auf,
Mißgönnt der Erde nicht die tiefverborgnen Quellen.

Ein jeder sucht im Arm [des Freundes]2 Ruh,
Dort kann die Brust in Klagen sich ergießen;
Allein ein Schwur drückt mir die Lippen zu
Und nur ein Gott vermag sie aufzuschließen.


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Confirmed with Goethe's Werke. Vollständige Ausgabe letzter Hand. Zweyter Band. Stuttgart und Tübingen, in der J.G.Cotta'schen Buchhandlung. 1827, page 117; and with Goethe's Werke. Vollständige Ausgabe letzter Hand. Neunzehnter Band. Stuttgart und Tübingen, in der J.G.Cotta'schen Buchhandlung. 1828, page 262.

First published in Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre. Ein Roman. Herausgegeben von Goethe. Dritter Band, Berlin. Bei Johann Friedrich Unger. 1795, pages 203-204. The poem appears in Book 5, Chapter 16 of Goethe's novel.

1 Schubert (first setting, D. 726): "Zu rechter"
2 Goethe (only in the editions of the poems, not in the novel): "der Freunde"

Submitted by Thierry Morice 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)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Doe mij niet spreken, laat mij zwijgen", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Don't ask me to speak", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Ne me dis pas de parler, dis-moi de me taire", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GRE Greek (Ελληνικά) [singable] (Christakis Poumbouris) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Non chiedermi di parlare", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Paolo Montanari) , "Non chiedere ch'io parli", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2003-09-29T00:00:00.
Last modified: 2018-05-22T14:15:47
Line count: 12
Word count: 86

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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

Don't ask me to speak

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Don't ask me to speak - ask me to be silent,
for my secret is a [solemn] duty to me.
I wish I could bare my soul to you,
but Fate does not will it.

At the right time, the sun's course will dispell
the dark night, and it must be illuminated.
The hard rock will open its bosom; and
ungrudgingly, the earth will release deep hidden springs.

Others may seek calm in the arms of a friend;
there one can pour out one's heart in lament.
But for me alone, a vow locks my lips,
And only a god has the power to open them.

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 © 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 --

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

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

Based on
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832), "Mignon", written 1782, appears in Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre, first published 1795 CAT DUT FRE GRE ITA ITA RUS
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Josef Abendheim, Franz Aloys Theodor Commer, John Woods Duke, Zdenko Antonín Václav Fibich, Joseph Klein, Leopold Lenz, Johann Friedrich Reichardt, Bernard Reichel, Karl Gottlieb Reissiger, Anton Grigoryevich Rubinstein, Franz Rudolph, Malvina Schnorr von Carolsfeld, née Malvina Garrigues, Franz Peter Schubert, Robert Schumann, Václav Jan Křtitel Tomášek, Eduard Ritter von Welz, Hugo Wolf, Karl Friedrich Zelter, Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2003-09-29T00:00:00.
Last modified: 2014-06-16T10:01:30
Line count: 12
Word count: 106