by John Donne (1572 - 1631)
Translation © by Daniel Johannsen

Oh might those sighes and teares return...
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER
Oh might those sighes and teares return againe
Into my breast and eyes, which I have spent,
That I might in this holy discontent
Mourne with some fruit, as I have mourn'd in vaine;
In mine Idolatry what show'rs of rain
Mine eyes did waste? What griefs my heart did rent?
That sufferance was my sinne; now I repent
'Cause I did suffer, I must suffer paine.
Th'hydroptique drunkard, and night scouting thief,
The itchy lecher and self-tickling proud
Have the remembrance of past joyes, for relief
Of coming ills. To poore me is allow'd
No ease; for long, yet vehement griefe hath been
Th'effect and cause, the punishment and sinne.

About the headline (FAQ)


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):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Daniel Johannsen) , copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 111

O möchten diese Seufzer und Tränen, die...
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
O möchten diese Seufzer und Tränen, die ich darbrachte,
wieder in meine Brust zurückkehren,
auf dass ich inmitten dieses heiligen Unfriedens
nicht fruchtlos klage, wie ich es ehedem tat.
In meiner Abgötterei — was für Tränenschauer
verschwendete ich da? Welcher Gram zerriss mein Herz?
Jene Duldung war meine Sünde; jetzt bereue ich —
weil ich litt, muss ich Schmerzen erdulden.
Der unstillbar durstige Trunkenbold und der Dieb, der in der Nacht spioniert,
der krätzige Wüstling und der sich selbst aufstachelnde Stolze:
sie alle haben die Erinnerung an vergangene Freuden —
zur Linderung kommender Unglücke. Mir Armem gestattet man
keine Erleichterung; denn langer, noch immer heftiger Kummer
ist die Ursache und der Grund, die Strafe und die Sünde gewesen.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "Oh might those sighes and teares" = "O möchten diese Seufzer und Tränen"


  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2020 by Daniel Johannsen, (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: 2020-10-17
Line count: 14
Word count: 118