by August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767 - 1845)
Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Abendlied für die Entfernte
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG ENG FRE
Hinaus, mein Blick! hinaus ins Thal!
Da wohnt noch Lebensfülle;
Da labe dich im Mondenstrahl
Und an der heil'gen Stille.
Da horch nun ungestört, mein Herz,
Da horch den leisen Klängen,
Die, wie von fern, zu Wonn' und Schmerz
Sich dir entgegen drängen.

Sie drängen sich so wunderbar,
Sie regen all mein Sehnen.
O sag mir, Ahndung, bist du wahr?
Bist du ein eitles Wähnen?
Wird einst mein Aug' in heller Lust,
Wie jetzt in Thränen, lächeln?
Wird einst die oft empörte Brust
Mir sel'ge Ruh umfächeln?

Und rief' auch die Vernunft mir zu:
Du mußt der Ahndung zürnen,
Es wohnt entzückte Seelenruh
Nur über den Gestirnen;
Doch könnt' ich nicht die Schmeichlerin
Aus meinem Busen jagen:
Oft hat sie meinen irren Sinn
Gestärkt empor getragen.

Wenn Ahndung und Erinnerung
Vor unserm Blick sich gatten,
Dann mildert sich zur Dämmerung
Der Seele tiefster Schatten.
Ach, dürften wir mit Träumen nicht
Die Wirklichkeit verweben, 
Wie arm an Farbe, Glanz und Licht
Wärst [dann du]1 Menschenleben!

So hoffet treulich und beharrt
Das Herz bis hin zum Grabe;
Mit Lieb' umfaßt's die Gegenwart,
Und dünkt sich reich an Habe.
Die Habe, die es selbst sich schafft,
Mag ihm kein Schicksal rauben:
Es lebt und webt in Wärm' und Kraft,
Durch Zuversicht und Glauben.

Und wär in Nacht und Nebeldampf
Auch alles rings erstorben,
Dieß Herz hat längst für jeden Kampf
Sich einen Schild erworben.
Mit hohem Trotz im Ungemach
Trägt es, was ihm beschieden.
So schlummr' ich ein, so werd' ich wach,
In Lust nicht, doch in Frieden.

F. Schubert sets stanzas 1-2, 4-6

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von August Wilhelm Schlegel. Tübingen, in der J. G. Cotta'schen Buchhandlung 1800, pages 16-18; and with A. W. Schlegel's poetische Werke. Erster Theil. Neueste Auflage. Wien 1816. Bey B. Ph. Bauer, pages 10-12.

First published, slightly different, with the title "Abendlied für ---", and with the remark "Die Compos. ist vom Hrn. Capellm. Naumann" in Taschenbuch zum geselligen Vergnügen herausgegeben von W. G. Becker. für 1795. Leipzig, bei Voß und Compagnie, pages 232-234.

1 Schubert: "du, o"

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) , "Cançó de capvespre per a l’estimada llunyana", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Avondlied voor de verre afwezige", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Evening song for the distant beloved", copyright ©
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "Evening song for her who is far away", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Chant du soir pour la bien-aimée lointaine", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Richard Morris , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 48
Word count: 255

Evening song for her who is far away
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Out, my gaze, out into the valley!
That is where the fullness of life still lives;
Refresh yourself there in the moonlight 
And in the sacred silence.
There you can listen undisturbed, my heart,
There you can listen to the gentle sounds
Which, as if from far away, offer you bliss and pain
As they press against you.

They offer such miraculous pressure,
They stir up all my longing.
Oh tell me, presentiment, are you real?
Are you a vain illusion?
Will there come a time when, in bright pleasure, my eyes
Smile rather than weep as they do now?
Will there come a time when my frequently inflamed breast
Is caressed by blessed rest?

And even if reason called out to me:
You must reject that presentiment,
Enraptured rest for the soul dwells
Only beyond the starry constellations;
I would nevertheless not be able to dismiss the flatterer
And drive it from my breast:
It has often taken my deluded mind
And carried it upwards, having strengthened it.

When presentiment and memory
Are united in front of our eyes,
Then things become milder. The dawning light
Of the soul replaces the deepest shadows.
Oh, if we were not able to take dreams and
Interweave them with reality,
How poor in colour, brightness and light
You would be, oh human life!

With such faithful and persistent hope
The heart continues up until the grave;
It embraces the present with love
And considers itself rich in possessions.
The possessions which it creates itself
Cannot be stolen from it by whatever happens:
It lives in and is intertwined with warmth and power,
Through confidence and faith.

And if night and mist descended 
And everything around were to die,
This heart has long been prepared for any battle
And has acquired a shield for itself.
With the utmost defiance in adversity
It will bear what has been decreed.
Thus I shall go to sleep, and thus I shall wake up,
Not with pleasure, but in peace.

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2020 by Malcolm Wren, (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: 2020-02-25
Line count: 48
Word count: 333