by August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767 - 1845)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Laue Lüfte
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Laue Lüfte,
Blumendüfte,
Alle Lenz- und Jugendlust;
Frischer Lippen
Küsse nippen,
Sanft gewiegt an zarter Brust;
Dann der Trauben
Nektar rauben;
Reihentanz und Spiel und Scherz:
Was die Sinnen
Nur gewinnen:
Ach! erfüllt es je das Herz?

Wenn die feuchten
Augen leuchten
Von der Wehmuth lindem Thau,
Dann entsiegelt,
Drin gespiegelt,
Sich dem Blick die Himmels-Au.
Wie erquicklich
Augenblicklich
Löscht es jede wilde Glut!
Wie vom Regen
Blumen pflegen,
Hebet sich der matte Muth.

Nicht mit süßen
Wasserflüssen
Zwang Prometheus unsern Leim:
Nein, mit Thränen;
Drum im Sehnen
Und im Schmerz sind wir daheim.
Bitter schwellen
Diese Quellen
Für den [Erd' umfangnen]1 Sinn,
Doch sie drängen
Aus den Engen
In das Meer der Liebe hin.

Ew'ges Sehnen
Floß in Thränen,
Und umgab die starre Welt,
Die in Armen
Sein Erbarmen
Immerdar umflutend hält.
Soll dein Wesen
Denn genesen,
Von dem Erdenstaube los,
Mußt im Weinen
Dich vereinen
Jener Wasser heil'gem Schooß.

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Confirmed with August Wilhelm Schlegels poetische Werke. Erster Theil. Heidelberg bey Mohr und Zimmer 1811, pages 242-244; and with A. W. Schlegel's poetische Werke. Zweyter Theil. Neueste Auflage. Wien 1816. Bey B. Ph. Bauer, pages 14-16.

First published in Prometheus. Eine Zeitschrift. Herausgegeben von Leo v. Seckendorf und Jos. Lud. Stoll. Zweytes Heft. Wien, in Geistinger's Buchhandlung. 1808, pages 70-71, with the title Lied.

1 Schlegel (1816 edition), and Schubert: "erdumfangnen"

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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Lof der tranen", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "In praise of tears", copyright © 2015
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Éloge des larmes", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 48
Word count: 151

In praise of tears
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Mild breezes,
The scent of flowers,
All the joy of spring and youth,
Fresh lips,
Swift kisses,
Being gently cradled at a tender bosom;
Then the grape's
nectar is stolen,
Round dances and games and jokes:
Whatever the senses
can gather:
Ah, will it ever fulfill the heart?

When wet
eyes gleam
from the gentle dew of melancholy,
then unsealed,
and therein mirrored,
is a glimpse of Heaven's field.
How joyfully,
in an instant,
is extinguished every wild passion;				
just as from the rain
flowers are nurtured,
so are dull spirits lifted.

Not with sweet
river water
did Prometheus form our clay.
No, with tears;
That is why in longing
and in pain we are at home.
Bitterly do 
These streams rise
(to our earthly senses),
but they press
out of the narrows
into the sea of love.

[God's] eternal longing
flowed in tears
and surrounded the numb world,	
which, held in His arms,
His mercy
Forever encompasses.
If your being
is ever then to be freed
from the dust of Earth,
You must in weeping
unite yourself
with the waters of the divine womb.

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2015 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 -- https://www.lieder.net/

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


Based on

 

This text was added to the website: 2015-09-29
Line count: 48
Word count: 185