Four songs

Song Cycle by Carl Zerrahn (1826 - 1910)

1. The solitary tear [sung text not yet checked]

What means this tear all-lonely 
  That troubles now my gaze? 
Of olden times the offspring 
  Still in mine eye it stays.

It had its shining sisters,
  Who all have faded from sight,
With all my joys and sorrows,
  Yea, faded in storm and night.

Like clouds have also fleeted 
  The stars so blue and mild,
Which into my yearning bosom
  Those joys and sorrows once smiled.

Ah, even my love's devotion 
  Like idle breath did decay;
Thou old, old tear all lonely 
  Do thou, too, pass away!


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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

1. Die einsame Träne [sung text not yet checked]

Was will die einsame Träne?
Sie trübt mir ja den Blick.
Sie blieb aus alten Zeiten
In meinem Auge zurück.

Sie hatte viel leuchtende Schwestern,
Die alle zerflossen sind,
Mit meinen Qualen und Freuden
Zerflossen in Nacht und Wind.

Wie Nebel sind auch zerflossen
Die blauen Sternelein,
Die mir [jene]1 Freuden und Qualen
Gelächelt ins Herz hinein.

Ach, meine Liebe selber
Zerfloß wie eitel Hauch!
Du alte, einsame Träne,
Zerfließe jetzunder auch!


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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Marta Garcia Cadena) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Jos. Van de Vijver) , "Eenzame traan"
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Wat wil het eenzame traantje?", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "What does this solitary tear mean?", copyright ©
  • ENG English (Emma Lazarus) , appears in Poems and Ballads of Heinrich Heine, first published 1881
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Que veut cette larme solitaire", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Cosa vuole questa lacrima solitaria?", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Cornelius: "die"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]
Total word count: 159