by Alfred Tennyson, Lord (1809 - 1892)
Translation by Eugen Oswald (1826 - 1912)

Break, break, break
Language: English 
Break, break, [break,]1
  On [thy]2 cold grey stones, O Sea! 
And I would that my tongue could utter 
  The thoughts that arise in me. 

[O]3 well for the fisherman's boy, 
  That he shouts [with]4 his sister at play! 
[O]3 well for the sailor lad, 
  That he sings in his boat on the bay! 

And the stately ships [go]5 on 
  To their haven under the hill; 
But O for the touch of a [vanish'd]6 hand, 
  And the sound of a voice that is still! 

Break, break, [break,]1
  At the foot of thy crags, O Sea! 
But the tender grace of a day that is dead 
  Will never come back to me.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Poet's note: "Made in a Lincolnshire lane at five o'clock in the morning, between blossoming hedges"
Written in memory of Tennyson's friend Arthur Hallam (d. 1833).
1 Végh: "o sea, o sea"
2 Manning: "the"
3 Manning: "Ah"
4 Manning: "to"
5 Manning: "sail"
6 Végh: "vanished"

Authorship

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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Alexander Winterberger.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Adolf Strodtmann (1829 - 1879) , no title ; composed by Heinrich Zöllner.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Eugen Oswald (1826 - 1912) , "Brich, brich, brich" ENG ; composed by János Végh, as Johann Végh.

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

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2018-10-10 08:12:52
Line count: 16
Word count: 110

Brich, brich, brich
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Available translation(s): ENG
  Brich, brich, [brich]1
[O Meer an dem kalten]2 Gestein!
Die Gedanken spricht meine Lippe nicht aus
Die du rauschst in mein Herz hinein!

  O wohl dem Matrosenbub'
Der da singet, [gewiegt]3 vom Kiel!
O, wohl dem [Fischermannsohn]4
Der da jauchzt mit der Schwester im Spiel!5

  [Bald]6 hat das stattliche Schiff
[Auf der]7 Rückkehr den Hafen erreicht:
[Doch wer bringt mir zurück]8 den Druck jener Hand,
[Und den]9 Laut jener Stimme, die schweigt?

  Brich, brich, [brich]1
[An dem Fuss deines Felsens, o Meer!
Doch die zarte Schönheit vergangenen Tags
Kehrt mir nimmer und nimmermehr!]10

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Julius Hart, England und Amerika. Fünf Bücher englischer u. amerikanischer Gedichte von den Anfängen bis auf die Gegenwart, Minden i. W.: J.C.C. Bruns' Verlag, 1885, pages 337-338.

1 omitted by Végh
2 Végh: "O Meer, o Meer! Brich am grauen"
3 Végh: "geweiget"
4 Végh: "Fischermann’s Sohn"
5 Végh reverses the couplets in this stanza.
6 Végh: "Und bald"
7 Végh: "In"
8 Végh: "O wer bringt mir wieder"
9 Végh: "Den"
10 Végh:
O Meer, o Meer, brich an deinen Felsen o Meer!
Doch die zarte Schönheit vergang'nen Tag's
Kehrt nimmer, kehrt nimmermehr!"

Authorship

Based on

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) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website: 2018-10-10 00:00:00
Last modified: 2019-02-27 13:38:53
Line count: 16
Word count: 94