by Friedrich Rückert (1788 - 1866)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Wenn Kummer hätte zu töten Macht
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the Arabic (العربية) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG FRE
Wenn Kummer hätte zu töten Macht,
Er müßte tötlich dies Herz durchbohren;
Und ließ' ein Glück sich zurückbeschwören,
Mein Seufzen hätt' es zurück beschworen.

About the headline (FAQ)

Note: this is an excerpt from a longer selection.

Confirmed with Die Verwandlungen des Abu Seid von Seruq oder die Makamen des Hariri von Friedrick Rückert, Vierte Auflage, Stuttgart: Verlag der J. G. Cottaschen Buchhandlung, 1864, page 36.


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , title 1: "If sorrow had the power to kill", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Si le chagrin avait le pouvoir de tuer", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , title 1: "Als treurnis iemand vermoorden kon", copyright © 2015, (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: 4
Word count: 24

If sorrow had the power to kill
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
If sorrow had the power to kill,
it would have stabbed fatally through this heart;
and if even a glimmer of happiness could have been summoned,
my sighs would have brought it back entirely.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive --

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

Based onBased on


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 4
Word count: 34