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by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796)

O were my Love yon lilac fair
Language: Scottish (Scots) 
Available translation(s): SPA
O were my Love yon lilac fair,
  Wi' purple blossoms to the spring,
And I a bird to shelter there,
  When wearied on my little wing;
How I wad mourn when it was torn
  By autumn wild and winter rude!
But I wad sing on wanton wing
  When youthfu' May its bloom renew'd.
O gin my Love were yon red rose
  That grows upon the castle wa',
And I mysel a drap o' dew,
  Into her bonnie breast to fa';
O there, beyond expression blest,
  I'd feast on beauty a' the night;
Seal'd on her silk-saft faulds to rest,
  Till fley'd awa' by Phoebus' light.

A. Beach sets stanza 2, 1

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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):

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by Henri-François-Louis-Auguste Potez (b. 1863) ; composed by André Gédalge.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Adolf Wilhelm Ernst von Winterfeld (1824 - 1888) , "O, wär' mein Lieb die Fliederblüth'" ; composed by Otto Bach, Ernst Paul Flügel.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by L. G. Silbergleit , "O wär' mein Lieb" ; composed by Jan Karol Gall, Eugène Jámbor, Rudolf Krzyzanowski.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Ferdinand Freiligrath (1810 - 1876) , no title ; composed by Carl Banck, Frederick Brandeis, August Conradi, Wilhelm Heiser, Ludwig Hoffmann, Carl Hohfeld, Carl August Krebs, Arnold Krug, C. Adolph Oberdörffer, Hans Michael Schletterer, Václav Jan Křtitel Tomášek.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by (Johann) Philipp Kaufmann (1802 - 1846) , no title, appears in Gedichte von Robert Burns, first published 1839 [an adaptation] ; composed by Franz Bendel, Alban Maria Johannes Berg, Wilhelm Mayer.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Johann Bernhard André.

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

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Josef Václav Sládek) , "Kéž byla bys ten vonný bez"
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Elisa Rapado) , copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 105