by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806 - 1861)
Translation by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)

I thought once how Theocritus had sung
Language: English 
I thought once how Theocritus had sung
Of the sweet years, the dear and wished-for years,
Who each one in a gracious hand appears
To bear a gift for mortals, old or young:
And, as I mused it in his antique tongue,
I saw, in gradual vision through my tears,
The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years,
Those of my own life, who by turns had flung
A shadow across me. Straightway I was 'ware,
So weeping, how a mystic Shape did move
Behind me, and drew me backward by the hair;
And a voice said in mastery, while I strove, -
"Guess now who holds thee!" - "Death," I said. But, there, 
The silver answer rang, "Not death, but Love."

About the headline (FAQ)

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2007-12-13
Line count: 14
Word count: 121

Und es geschah mir einst, an Theokrit
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Und es geschah mir einst, an Theokrit
zu denken, der von jenen süßen Jahren
gesungen hat und wie sie gütig waren
und gebend und geneigt bei jedem Schritt:
und wie ich saß, antikischem Gedicht
nachsinnend, sah ich durch mein Weinen leise
die süßen Jahre, wie sie sich im Kreise
aufstellten, traurig, diese von Verzicht
lichtlosen Jahre: meine Jahre. Da
stand plötzlich jemand hinter mir und riß
aus diesem Weinen mich an meinem Haar.
Und eine Stimme rief, die furchtbar war:
«Rate, wer hält dich so?» - «Der Tod gewiß».
- «Die Liebe» - klang es wieder, sanft und nah.

About the headline (FAQ)

Authorship

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)


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2007-12-13
Line count: 14
Word count: 99