by Walter De la Mare (1873 - 1956)
Translation © by José Miguel Llata

King David
Language: English 
Available translation(s): GER SPA
    King David was a sorrowful man:
        No cause for his sorrow had he;
And he called for the music of a hundred harps,
       To ease his melancholy.

    They played till they all fell silent:
        Played and play sweet did they;
But the sorrow that haunted the heart of King David
        They could not charm away.

    He rose; and in his garden
        Walked by the moon alone,
A nightingale hidden in a cypress tree,
        Jargoned on and on.

    King David lifted his sad eyes
        Into the dark-boughed tree --
"Tell me, thou little bird that singest,
        Who taught my grief to thee?"

    But the bird in no-wise heeded;
        And the king in the cool of the moon
Hearkened to the nightingale's sorrowfulness,
        Till all his own was gone.

Confirmed with Peacock Pie. A Book of Rhymes by Walter de la Mare, London: Constable & Co. Ltd., [1920], page 111.


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):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Sharon Krebs) , "König David", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (José Miguel Llata) , "El rey David", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Virginia Knight , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 20
Word count: 127

El rey David
Language: Spanish (Español)  after the English 
El rey David era un hombre afligido,
      sin causa para sus penas;
Y ordenó que sonara la música de cien arpas,
      para aliviar su melancolía.

Tocaron hasta que acabaron en silencio,
     tocaron y tocaron dulcemente;
Pero la pena que perseguía el corazón del Rey David
     no pudieron alejar.

Se levantó; y en su jardín
     paseó solo a la luz de la luna.
Un ruiseñor escondido en un ciprés.
     gorjeaba sin parar.

El Rey David elevó su triste mirada 
     hacia las oscuras ramas del árbol,
"Dime tú, pajarillo que cantas,
     ¿quién te habló de mis penas?

Pero el pájaro no le prestó ninguna atención;
       Y el rey, bajo la fresca noche de luna, 
Escuchó la aflicción del ruiseñor
       hasta que la suya se desvaneció.

Authorship

  • Translation from English to Spanish (Español) copyright © 2020 by José Miguel Llata, (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: 2020-10-05
Line count: 20
Word count: 123