by Theodor Opitz (1820 - 1896)
Translation © by Barbara Miller

Beschwörung
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the Russian (Русский) 
Available translation(s): ENG ENG
O wenn es wahr, daß in der Nacht,
Wann alle ruhen, die da leben, 
Und wann die Mondesstrahlen sacht
Herab auf Leichensteine schweben, 
O wenn es wahr ist, daß alsdann
Die Gräber [leeren]1 sich, die stillen,
Ruf' ich, harr' ich um Leila's willen;
Zu mir, mein Lieb, heran, heran!

Zeig dich, geliebter Schatten, gleich
Wie du erschienest vor dem Scheiden,
Wie Wintertag so kalt, so bleich,
Entstellt vom letzten Todesleiden;
Schweb' wie ein ferner Stern heran,
Wie leiser Klang, wie Windeswehen,
Wie ein Gesicht, schrecklich zu sehen,
Mir alles gleich: heran! heran!

Ich rufe dich, nicht darum, nein!
Um jener Bosheit anzuklagen,
Die tödteten den Engel mein; 
Nicht [Grabes Räthsel]2 zu erfragen,
Nicht darum, weil mich dann und wann 
Der Zweifel quält... ich will nur schmerzlich
Dir sagen, daß ich liebe herzlich, 
Daß ich ganz [dein]3! heran! heran!

View original text (without footnotes)
Confirmed with Dichtungen von A. Puschkin und M. Lermontow. Deutsch von Theodor Opitz, Berlin, Verlag von A. Hofmann & Comp., 1859, pages 79-80.

1 Nietzsche: "öffnen"
2 Nietzsche: "Grabesrätsel"
3 Nietzsche: "dein bin"

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)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Barbara Miller) , title 1: "Entreaty", copyright © 2004, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Elisabeth Siekhaus) , title 1: "Entreaty", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: John Versmoren

This text was added to the website: 2003-11-04
Line count: 24
Word count: 138

Entreaty
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
O if it is true, that in the night,
while all who live there are resting,
and when the moonbeams gently
down here on gravestones float,
 
O if it is true, that then
the quiet graves open,
I call, I wait for Leila's sake.
To me, my love, come here, come here!
 
Appear, beloved shade, just
As you appeared before the separation,
As cold as a winter's day, as pale,
Distorted from the last pains of death.
 
Float closer as a distant star,
As a gentle sound, as a light breath,
As a sight horrible to see.
It is all the same to me: come here, come here!
 
I call you, not in order, no,
to charge someone with a crime,
that took away my angel,
nor to ascertain the mystery of death [literally "grave-riddle"].
 
Nor in order to, because now and then
Doubt torments [me], I want only painfully
to say to you, that I love you truly,
That I am ever yours, come here, come here!

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2004 by Barbara Miller, (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: 2004-11-06
Line count: 24
Word count: 168