by Eugen Oswald (1826 - 1912)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

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

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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]

This text was added to the website: 2018-10-10
Line count: 16
Word count: 94

Break, break, break
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
  Break, break, [break,]1
[Oh sea, upon the cold]2 rocks!
My lips cannot utter the thoughts
That your rushing brings into my heart!

  Oh happy is the sailor lad
Who sings, rocked by the keel!
Oh happy is the fisher's son
Who rejoices with his sister at play!3

  [Soon]4 the stately ship has,
On its homeward journey, reached the harbour:
But who can bring back to me the pressure of that hand,
[And the]5 sound of that voice that has fallen silent?

  Break, break, [break,]1
[At the foot of your cliffs, oh sea!
But the tender beauty of past days
Shall never and nevermore return for me!]6

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Translations of title(s):
"Brich, brich o Meer...!" = "Break, break oh sea...!"
"Brich, brich, brich" = "Break, break, break"

1 omitted by Végh
2 Végh: "Oh sea, break upon the grey"
3 Végh reverses the couplets in this stanza.
4 Végh: "And soon"
5 Végh: "The"
6 Végh: "Oh sea, oh sea, break upon your rocks, oh sea! / But the tender beauty of past days / Shall never and nevermore return!"

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2019 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.
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This text was added to the website: 2019-03-10
Line count: 16
Word count: 107