by Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804 - 1877)
Translation © by David McCleery

Den första kyssen
Language: Swedish (Svenska) 
Available translation(s): ENG FIN FRE GER
På silvermolnets kant satt aftonstjärnan,
Från lundens skymning frågte henne tärnan:
Säg, aftonstjärna, vad i himlen tänkes,
När första kyssen åt en älskling skänkes?
Och himlens blyga dotter hördes svara:
På jorden blickar ljusets änglaskara,
Och ser sin egen sällhet speglad åter;
Blott döden vänder ögat bort -- och gråter.

Version with original spelling:
På silfvermolnets kant satt aftonstjernan,
Från lundens skymning frågte henne tärnan:
Säg, aftonstjerna, hvad i himlen tänkes,
När första kyssen åt en älskling skänkes?
Och himlens blyga dotter hördes svara:
På jorden blickar ljusets englaskara,
Och ser sin egen sällhet speglad åter;
Blott döden vänder ögat bort -- och gråter.

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):

  • ENG English (David McCleery) , "The first kiss", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Ensi suudelma", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Le premier baiser", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Der erste Kuss", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Bertram Kottmann

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 8
Word count: 49

The first kiss
Language: English  after the Swedish (Svenska) 
As the evening star sat on the edge of the silver-lined cloud
The maiden asked her from the twilit grove:
"Tell me, evening star, what do they think in heaven
When a lover receives her first kiss?"
And heaven’s bashful daughter replied:
"The angels look to earth
And see the reflection of their bliss.
Only death turns away, and weeps."

Authorship

  • Translation from Swedish (Svenska) to English copyright © 2018 by David McCleery, (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: 2018-01-21
Line count: 8
Word count: 60