Symphony No. 1, Versuch eines Requiems

Symphony by Karl Amadeus Hartmann (1905 - 1963)

Word count: 337

1. Introduktion. Elend (Allegro) [sung text checked 1 time]

I sit and look out upon all the sorrows of the world,
    and upon all oppression and shame;
I hear secret convulsive sobs from young men,
    at anguish with themselves, remorseful after deeds done;
I see, in low life, the mother misused by her children, dying,
    neglected, gaunt, desperate;
I see the wife misused by her husband -- I see
    the treacherous seducer of young women;
I mark the ranklings of jealousy and unrequited love,
    attempted to be hid -- I see these sights on the earth;
I see the workings of battle, pestilence, tyranny --
    I see martyrs and prisoners;
I observe a famine at sea -- I observe the sailors casting lots
    who shall be kill'd, to preserve the lives of the rest;
I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant persons
    upon laborers, the poor, and upon negroes, and the like;
All these -- All the meanness and agony without end,
    I sitting, look out upon,
See, hear, and am silent.


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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Frühling [sung text checked 1 time]

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd,
And the great star early droop'd in the western sky in the night,
I mourn'd, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

[Ever-returning]1 spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming [perennial and drooping star in the west]2,
And thought of him I love.


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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Quand les derniers lilas dans la petite cour fleurissaient", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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1 Fine: "O Ever-returning"
2 Hartmann: "perennial, misery you give to us all,"

Researcher for this text: Ahmed E. Ismail

3. Tears [sung text checked 1 time]

Tears! tears! tears!
In the night, in solitude, tears,
On the white shore dripping, dripping, suck'd in by the sand,
Tears, not a star shining, all dark and desolate,
Moist tears from the eyes of a muffled head;
[ ... ]


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Researcher for this text: Ted Perry