by August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767 - 1845)
Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Laß dich mit gelinden Schlägen
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG ENG FRE ITA SPA
Laß dich mit gelinden Schlägen
Rühren, meine zarte Laute!
Da die Nacht hernieder thaute,
Müssen wir Gelispel pflegen.
Wie sich deine Töne regen,
Wie sie athmen, klagen, stöhnen,
Wallt das Herz zu meiner Schönen,
Bringt ihr aus der Seele Tiefen
Alle Schmerzen, welche schliefen;
Liebe denkt in süßen Tönen.

Zu dem friedlichen Gemach,
Wo sie ruht in Blumendüften,
Laß noch in den kühlen Lüften
Tönen unser schmelzend Ach.
Halb entschlummert, halb noch wach,
Angeblickt vom Abendstern
Liegt sie, und vernimmt wohl gern
In den leisen Harmonieen
Träume, Bilder, Fantasieen;
Denn Gedanken stehn zu fern.

Inn'ger, liebe Saiten, bebet!
Lockt hervor den Wiederhall!
Weckt das Lied der Nachtigall,
Und wetteifernd mit ihr strebet!
Doch, wenn Sie die Stimm' erhebet,
Dann erkennet euern Herrn,
Lauscht demüthig und von fern.
Horch! schon singt der holde Mund;
Denn verrathen unsern Bund
Nur in Tönen mag sie gern.

Nun noch einmal, gute Nacht!
Und an deinem Lager säume
Nur der zärtlichste der Träume,
Bis der Morgen wieder lacht.
Dann geh' auf in stiller Pracht,
Wie der Tag den Erdensöhnen,
Meine Hoffnungen zu krönen.
Kann doch deine Blüthenjugend,
Unschuld, Anmuth, reine Tugend,
Alles, was sie will, verschönen.

F. Schubert sets stanza 1

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with A. W. Schlegel's poetische Werke. Erster Theil. Neueste Auflage. Wien 1816. Bey B. Ph. Bauer, pages 125-127; and with Europa. Eine Zeitschrift. Herausgegeben von Friedrich Schlegel. Ersten Bandes Erstes Stück. Frankfurt a.M. bei Friedrich Wilmans, 1803, pages 81-82.

First published in Friedrich Schlegel's Europa as the third of four variations on a theme by Ludwig Tieck:

Liebe denkt in süßen Tönen,
Denn Gedanken stehn zu fern,
Nur in Tönen mag sie gern
Alles, was sie will, verschönen.
These four lines constitute in each of the variations the final line of each stanza, respectively. Variation I and Variation IV are in fact not Schlegel's (they are from Frau B*) and have not been included in Schlegel's collected works, while variations II and III have been provided there with the subtitles Erste Weise and Zweyte Weise.


Authorship

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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Taal der liefde", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , "The language of love", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Langage d'amour", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Le parole dell'amore", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Iago Giné) , "Lenguaje del amor", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 40
Word count: 191

With gentle strokes let yourself be
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
With gentle strokes let yourself be
Touched, my tender lute!
Since night has settled over us
We will need to converse in whispers.
As your notes pour out,
As they breathe, lament, moan,
So my heart surges towards my beautiful one,
And takes to her, out of the depths of my soul,
All the pains that are sleeping within;
Love thinks in sweet notes.

To the peaceful chamber
Where she rests surrounded by the scent of flowers,
In the cool breezes let
Our melting sigh ring out.
Half asleep but half awake
Looked upon by the evening star
She lies, and is happy to accept
In these gentle harmonies
Dreams, images, fantasies,
Since thoughts remain too far away.

Inner, beloved strings, resound!
Elicit an echo!
Awaken the song of the nightingale,
And issue it with a challenge!
But if you get her to raise her voice
Then acknowledge your master,
Listen attentively and from a distance.
Listen! the beauteous mouth is already singing
For betraying our union
Is only possible for her in music.

So yet again, good night!
And where you lie may there only hover
The tenderest of dreams
Until morning smiles again.
Then get up in quiet majesty
(Like the day greeting the sons of earth)
To crown my hopes.
Your blossoming youth can easily beautify
Innocence, grace, pure virtue,
It can beautify whatever it wants to.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"Die Sprache der Liebe" = "The language of love"
"Sprache der Liebe" = "Language of love"


Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2018 by Malcolm Wren, (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.
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Based on

 

This text was added to the website: 2018-01-10
Line count: 40
Word count: 230