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The origin of the harp

Language: English

'Tis believed that this Harp, which I wake now for thee
Was a Siren of old, who sung under the sea;
And who often, at eve, through the bright waters roved,
To meet, on the green shore, a youth whom she loved. 

But she loved him in vain, for he left her to weep,
And in tears, all the night, her gold tresses to steep,
Till heaven look'd with pity on true-love so warm,
And changed to this soft Harp the sea-maiden's form. 

Still her bosom rose fair — still her cheeks smiled the same -
While her sea-beauties gracefully form'd the light
And her hair, as, let loose, o'er her white arm it fell,
Was changed to bright chords uttering melody's spell. 

Hence it came, that this soft Harp so long hath been known
To mingle love's language with sorrow's sad tone;
Till thou didst divide them, and teach the fond lay
To speak love when I'm near thee, and grief when away.

Translation(s): DAN FRE FRE GER RUS

List of language codes

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


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 ]

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "L'origine de la harpe", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2003-11-03.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:57
Line count: 16
Word count: 164

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Harpens Oprindelse

Language: Danish (Dansk) after the English

Man vil vide, at Harpen, jeg slaaer for min Møe,
Den var eengang en Havfru, som sang under Søe
Og som sværmed hver Aften i Bølgernes blaa
For paa Stranden den Yngling, hun elsked, at naae.
Hendes Elskov forsmaaedes, hun sukked forladt,
Sine Guldhaar hun vædet med Taarer hver Nat
Indtil Himlen med Ynk over tro Elskovs Nød
Den skjøn Havfru gav Form af en Strengeleg sød.
Endnu Kinden gav Smiil, endnu Barmen steg rund,
Da hver Søeskjønhed svandt i den klangfulde Bund.
Hendes Haar, hver en Lok, der af Taarer var fuld,
Over Armene sænktes som Strenge af Guld
Deraf kom det, at Harpen sin Kjærligheds Fryd
Sammenblanded saa længe med Kummerens Lyd
Til du, Elskte har skildt dem, og lært hver især,
Er du fjern, tone Sorg, tone Lyst, er du nær.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


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)

Text added to the website: 2011-05-06.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:22
Line count: 16
Word count: 134