by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
Translation by H. Stevens

The captive
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Tell me, Heart, what means this sorrow
That oppresseth thee so sore?
Changed art thou by all this trouble,
And I hardly know thee 'more!

All is gone that gave thee gladness,
All is gone that brought thee sadness.
Gone thy zeal and all thy peace-
Tell me now the cause of this!

Doth the charm of youth allure thee?
Lovely form and beauteous face?
Doth a smile, a glance so tender
Win thee by its wondrous grace?

To avoid her I endeavour,
And resolve the bond to sever;
In a moment yet I'm fain
To return to her again

With her magic spell around me
That to break I need the skill
Doth the heartless maiden bind me
Ever fast against my will;

Captive in her magic bower
Now she holds me in her power,
Ah!, how great the change in me!
Mighty Love, O set me free!

Note: adapted from H. Stevens' translation in the Augener edition (No. 8806) of 67 Beethoven songs.

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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: 2006-10-11
Line count: 24
Word count: 149