by Ferdinand Freiligrath (1810 - 1876)
Translation © by Thomas Ang

O lieb, solang du lieben kannst!
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FIN FRE SPA
O lieb, [solang]1 du lieben kannst!
O lieb, so lang du lieben magst!
Die Stunde kommt, die Stunde kommt,
Wo du an Gräbern stehst und klagst.

Und sorge, daß dein [Herze]2 glüht
Und Liebe hegt und Liebe trägt,
So lang ihm noch ein ander Herz
In Liebe warm entgegenschlägt.

Und wer dir seine Brust erschließt,
O tu ihm, was du kannst, [zulieb]3!
Und mach ihm jede Stunde froh,
Und mach ihm keine Stunde trüb.

Und hüte deine Zunge wohl,
Bald ist ein böses Wort gesagt!
O Gott, es war nicht bös gemeint, -
Der andre aber geht und klagt.

O lieb, solang du lieben kannst!
O lieb, solang du lieben magst!
Die Stunde kommt, die Stunde kommt,
Wo du an Gräbern stehst und klagst!

Dann kniest du nieder an der Gruft
Und birgst die Augen, trüb und naß,
- Sie sehn den andern nimmermehr -
Ins lange, feuchte Kirchhofsgras.

Und sprichst: O schau auf mich herab,
Der hier an deinem Grabe weint!
Vergib, daß ich gekränkt dich hab!
O Gott, es war nicht bös gemeint!

Er aber sieht und hört dich nicht,
Kommt nicht, daß du ihn froh umfängst;
Der Mund, der oft dich küßte, spricht
Nie wieder: Ich vergab dir längst!

Er tat's, vergab dir lange schon,
Doch manche heiße Träne fiel
Um dich und um dein herbes Wort -
Doch still - er ruht, er ist am Ziel!

O lieb, solang du lieben kannst!
O lieb, solang du lieben magst!
Die Stunde kommt, die Stunde kommt,
Wo du an Gräbern stehst und klagst!

F. Liszt sets stanzas 1-4

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Liszt, Mohr, Pierson: "so lang". (passim)
2 Liszt: "Herz"
3 Liszt: "zu lieb"

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:

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Thomas Ang) , "O love, love as long as you can!", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Wilson Hidalgo) , "Ama todo el tiempo que puedas", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Richard Schindler

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 40
Word count: 255

O love, love as long as you can!
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
O love, love as long as you can!
O love, love as long as you will!
The time will come, the time will come,
When you will stand grieving at the grave.

And let it be that your heart glows
And nurtures and carries love,
As long as another heart is still
Warmly bestruck by love for you!

And to one who spills his breast to you,
O to him, do what you can, in Love!
And make him happy for each moment,
And never let him be sad for one!

And guard your tongue tightly,
In case any slight escapes your mouth!
O God, it was not meant that way, -
But the other recoils, hurt and sighing.

O love, love as long as you can!
O love, love as long as you will!
The time will come, the time will come,
When you will stand grieving at the grave.

Then you will kneel down at the grave
And your eyes will be cloudy and wet,
- You will never see the other again, -
In the church graveyard's long, damp grass.

You say: O look at me below,
I who cry here at your grave!
Forgive me that I insulted you!
O God, it was not meant that way!

Yet he sees and hears you not,
You cannot comfort him again;
The lips which kissed you often speak
Not again: I forgave you long ago!

Indeed, forgive you he did,
But tears he would freely spend,
Over you and on your harsh word -
Hush, still! - he rests, he is past.

O love, love as long as you can!
O love, love as long as you will!
The time will come, the time will come,
When you will stand grieving at the grave.

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2007 by Thomas Ang, (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: 2007-04-23
Line count: 40
Word count: 296