by Otto Roquette (1824 - 1896)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Das alte Wort
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Du schönes Herz, dir möcht' ein Wort ich sagen, 
  Das Alles spricht, 
Das all mein goldnes Glück sollt' in sich tragen  -- 
  Und find' es nicht! 
Ein alter Ton, ein altes Wort, 
Der liebe Spruch an jedem Ort 
Er bleibt auch meiner Seele Hort:
  Ich liebe dich!

Es giebt kein Klang dir all den Himmelssegen
  In süßerm Ton,
Er ist ein Maienblick, ein Sonnenregen,
  Der Lipp entflohn!
Du schönes Herz, sieh lächelnd her,
Mein Mund hegt fremden Wunsch nicht mehr,
Es sagt's das Herz, drum spricht auch er:
  Ich liebe dich! 

Confirmed with Otto Roquette, Liederbuch, Stuttgart und Tübingen: J. G. Cotta'scher Verlag, 1852. page 53.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

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

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "The old word", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor] , Melanie Trumbull

This text was added to the website: 2018-03-29
Line count: 16
Word count: 90

The old word
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
You lovely heart, I want to say a word to you
     That utters everything,
That encompasses all my golden happiness -
     And I cannot find it!
  An old sound, an old word,
  The maxim of love everywhere,
  For my soul, too, it remains a refuge:
     I love you!

No other sound would give you all the heavenly blessing
     In a sweeter tone,
It is a glimpse of May, a rain of sunshine
     That has escaped my lips!
  You lovely heart, gaze hither smilingly,
  My mouth no longer harbours foreign wishes,
  My heart says it, and therefore [my mouth] also speaks:
     I love you!


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2017 by Sharon Krebs, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2017-04-10
Line count: 16
Word count: 103