Cycle of eight songs to poems by Heinrich Heine

Song Cycle by Constantin Silvestri (1913 - 1969)

Word count: 224

1. What torture have I suffered [sung text not yet checked]

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2. Mortal, sneer not at the devil [sung text not yet checked]

Mortal, sneer not at the devil;
   Life's a short and narrow way,
And perdition everlasting
   Is no error of the day. 

Mortal, pay thy debts precisely,
   Life's a long and weary way;
And to-morrow thou must borrow,
   As thou borrow'dst yesterday. 

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3. Through the forest [sung text not yet checked]

Through the forest
 . . . . . . . . . .

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4. Dost thou hate me then so fiercely? [sung text not yet checked]

Dost thou hate me then so fiercely,
   Hast thou really changed so blindly?
To the world I shall proclaim it,
   Thou could'st treat me so unkindly. 

Say, ungrateful lips, how can you
   Breathe an evil word of scorning,
Of the very man who kissed you
   So sincerely, yestermorning?

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5. Softly, stars on high are wandering [sung text not yet checked]

Softly, stars on high are wandering
 . . . . . . . . . .

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6. How canst thou slumber calmly [sung text not yet checked]

How can'st thou slumber calmly,
   Whilst I alive remain?
My olden wrath returneth,
   And then I snap my chain. 
Know'st thou the ancient ballad
   Of that dead lover brave,
Who rose and dragged his lady
   At midnight to his grave? 
Believe me, I am living;
   And I am stranger far,
Most pure, most radiant maiden,
   Than all the dead men are.

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8. Der scheidende Sommer [sung text not yet checked]

Das gelbe Laub erzittert, 
Es fallen die Blätter herab; 
Ach, alles, was hold und lieblich, 
Verwelkt und sinkt ins Grab. 

Die [Wipfel]1 des Waldes umflimmert 
Ein schmerzlicher Sonnenschein; 
Das mögen die letzten Küsse 
Des scheidenden Sommers sein. 

Mir ist, als müsst ich weinen 
Aus tiefstem Herzensgrund; 
[Dies Bild erinnert]2 mich wieder
An unsre Abschiedsstund'. 

Ich musste [von dir scheiden]3, 
Und wusste, du stürbest bald; 
Ich war der scheidende Sommer, 
Du warst der [kranke]4 Wald.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (John H. Campbell) , "The yellow foliage trembles", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English [singable] (Anonymous/Unidentified Artist) , "Parting"
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Franz (?): "Gipfel"
2 Reinecke: "Es mahnet dies Bild"
3 Grieg, Reinecke: "dich verlassen" (abandon you)
4 Grieg, Reinecke: "sterbende" (dying)

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]