Tagore Love Songs

Song Cycle by Karim Adam Al-Zand (b. 1970)

Word count: 944

1. Do not keep to yourself [sung text checked 1 time]

Do not keep to yourself the [secret]1 of your heart, 
my friend!
Say it to me, only to me, in secret.
You who smile so gently, 
softly whisper, 
my heart will hear it,
not my ears.

The night is deep, 
the house is silent, 
the birds' nests are shrouded with sleep.
Speak to me 
through hesitating tears, 
through faltering smiles,
through sweet shame and pain, 
the secret of your heart!

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Behalte dein Geheimnis nicht", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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1 Gompel: "secrets"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. When she passed by me [sung text checked 1 time]

When she passed by me with quick steps, 
the end of her skirt touched me.
From the unknown island of a heart 
came a sudden warm breath of spring.
A flutter of a flitting touch brushed me 
and vanished in a moment, 
like a torn flower petal blown in the breeze.
It fell upon my heart like a sigh 
of her body and whisper of her heart.

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Als sie schnellen Schritts an mir vorüberglitt", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Note: this is a prose selection, so the line-breaks are arbitrary.


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. When the two sisters go to fetch water [sung text checked 1 time]

When the two sisters go to fetch water,
they come to this spot and they smile.
They must be aware of somebody
who stands behind the trees
whenever they go to fetch water.

The two sisters whisper to each other
when they pass this spot.
They must have guessed the secret
of that somebody who stands behind the trees
whenever they go to fetch water.

Their pitchers lurch suddenly, and water spills
when they reach this spot.
They must have found out that somebody's heart is beating,
who stands behind the trees
whenever they go to fetch water.

The two sisters glance at each other
when they come to this spot, and they smile.
There is a laughter in their swift stepping feet,
which makes confusion in somebody's mind,
who stands behind the trees
whenever they go to fetch water.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. I would ask for still more [sung text checked 1 time]

I would ask for still more, if I had the sky with all its stars,
and the world with its endless riches; but I would be content 
with the smallest corner of this earth if only she were mine. 

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5. My heart, the bird of the wilderness [sung text checked 1 time]

My heart, the bird of the wilderness,
has found its sky in your eyes:
They are the cradle of the morning,
they are the kingdom of the stars;
My songs are lost in their depths.
Let me but soar in that sky,
in its lonely immensity!
Let me but cleave its clouds
and spread wings in its sunshine.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. It was in May [sung text checked 1 time]

It was in May.  The sultry noon seemed endlessly long.
The dry earth gaped with thirst in the heat.

When I heard from the riverside a voice calling, "Come, my darling!"

I shut my book and opened the window to look out.

I saw a big buffalo with mud-stained hide, standing near the river 
with placid, patient eyes; and a youth, knee deep in water, 
calling it to its bath.

I smiled amused and felt a touch of sweetness in my heart.

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7. My songs are like bees [sung text checked 1 time]

My songs are like bees; they follow through the air 
some fragrant trace -- some memory -- of you, 
to hum around your shyness, eager for its hidden store.

When the freshness of dawn droops in the sun, 
when in the noon the air hangs low with heaviness 
and the forest is silent, my songs return home,
their languid wings dusted with gold.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

8. Do not go, my love [sung text checked 1 time]

Do not go, my love, without asking my leave.
I have watched all night, 
and now my eyes are heavy with sleep;
I fear lest I lose you when I am sleeping.
Do not go, my love, without asking my leave.
I start up and stretch my hands to touch you.
I ask myself, "Is it a dream?"
Could I but entangle your feet with my heart,
And hold them fast to my breast!
Do not go, my love, without asking my leave.

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Geh' nicht weg, mein Liebster", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

9. He whispered, my love [sung text checked 1 time]

He whispered, "My love, raise your eyes."
I sharply [chid]1 him, and said "Go!";
but he did not stir.
He stood before me and held both my hands. 
I said, "Leave me!";
but he did not go.

He brought his face near my ear. 
I glanced at him and said, "What a shame!"; 
but he did not move.
His lips touched my cheek. 
I trembled and said, "You dare too much";
but he had no shame.

He put a flower in my hair. 
I said, "It is useless!"; but he stood unmoved.
He took the garland from my neck and went away. 
I weep and ask my heart, 
"Why does he not come back?"

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1 Al-Zand: "chided"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

10. If you would have it so [sung text checked 1 time]

If you would have it so, 
  I will end my singing.
If it sets your heart aflutter, 
  I will take away my eyes from your face.
If it suddenly startles you in your walk, 
  I will step aside and take another path.
If it confuses you in your flower-weaving, 
  I will shun your lonely garden.
If it makes the water wanton and wild,
  I will not row my boat by your bank.

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11a. Then finish the last song [sung text checked 1 time]

Then finish the last song 
and let us leave.
Forget this night when the night is no more.
Whom do I try to clasp in my arms?  
Dreams can never be made captive.
My eager hands press emptiness 
to my heart and it bruises my breast.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

11b. Then finish the last song [sung text checked 1 time]

Then finish the last song 
and let us leave.
Forget this night when the night is no more.
Whom do I try to clasp in my arms?  
Dreams can never be made captive.
My eager hands press emptiness 
to my heart and it bruises my breast.

Authorship

Based on

See other settings of this text.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

12. There are numerous strings in your lute [sung text checked 1 time]

There are numerous strings in your lute, 
let me add my own among them.

Then when you smite your chords, 
my heart will break its silence, 
and my life will be one with your song.             

Amidst your numberless stars 
let me place my own little lamp.

In the dance of your festival lights 
my heart will throb and my life 
will be one with your smile.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]