by Nikolaus Lenau (1802 - 1850)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

An die Wolke
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Zieh nicht so schnell vorüber
An dieser stillen Haide,
Zieh nicht so scheu vorüber
An meinem tiefen Leide,
Du Wolke in der Höh',
Steh still bei meinem Weh!

[O nimm auf deine Schwingen
Und trag zu ihr die Kunde:
Wie Schmerz und Groll noch ringen,
Und bluten aus der Wunde,]1
Die mir [durch ihren]2 Trug
Die Ungetreue schlug.

Und kommst auf deinen Wegen
Du an vor ihrem Hause,
So stürze dich als Regen
Herunter mit Gebrause,
Daß sie bei dunkler Nacht
Aus ihrem Traum erwacht.

Schlag' [an die Fensterscheibe]3,
Und schlag' an ihre Thüre,
Und sei dem falschen Weibe
Ein Mahner an die Schwüre,
Die sie mir weinend sprach,
Und die sie lächelnd brach.

Und will sie das nicht hören,
So magst von deinem Sitze,
Du, Donner, dich empören,
Dann rüttelt, all' ihr Blitze,
Wenn ihr vorüberzieht,
An ihrem Augenlied [sic]!

R. Franz sets stanzas 1, 2, 4, 5

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Nicolaus Lenau's sämtliche Werke, herausgegeben von G. Emil Barthel, Leipzig: Druck und Verlag von Philipp Reclam jun., [1883], pages 48-49.

1 Lenau originally published this poem with the following lines, but later he wrote: "Mein Herz eine Waise zu nennen, und obendrein eine verblutende, war von mir weichlich und läppisch, und ich schäme mich sechstausendmal beim Wiederlesen dieser verunglückten Zeilen, denn eben so oft sind sie gedruckt in der Leute Händen."
 Und nimm auf deine Reise
Mit fort zu ihr die Kunde:
Mein Herz, die arme Waise,
Verblutet an der Wunde,
2 Franz: "mit ihrem"
3 Franz: "Regen an die Scheibe"

Authorship

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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English [singable] (E. S. Willcox) , "The cloud"
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "To the cloud", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Au nuage", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2007-09-28
Line count: 30
Word count: 141

To the cloud
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Do not scud so quickly 
Past this quiet heath,
Do not scud so shyly 
Past my deep pain;
You cloud on high,
Stand still at my suffering!

[Oh take upon your pinions
This message and carry it to her:
How pain and rancour still wrestle,
And bleed from the wound]1
That, through her deception,
The unfaithful woman caused me.

And if upon your pathways
You arrive at her house,
Then as rain plunge down
With a roar,
So that in the dark night
She wakens from her dreams.

[Beat against]1 the window pane,
And beat against her door,
And to the false woman 
Be an admonisher, [reminding her] of the vows
That she spoke to me with weeping,
And that she smilingly broke.

And if she does not wish to hear,
Then from your high seat, you,
Thunder, may rise up,
Then, all ye lightning bolts,
When you pass by,
Buffet at her eyelids!

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Lenau originally published this poem with the following lines, but later he wrote:: "To call my heart an orphan, and on top of that, an orphan who is bleeding to death, was weak and silly of me, and I am ashamed six thousand times when I reread these unsuccessful lines, for that is exactly how many times they are in peoples' hands in published form."
 And upon your journey take
Along this message to her:
My heart, the poor orphan,
Is bleeding to death from the wound.
1 Franz: "Beat rain against"

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2020 by Sharon Krebs, (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: 2020-04-30
Line count: 30
Word count: 154