My soul is dark ‑ Oh! quickly string
Language: English 
My soul is dark - Oh! quickly string
  The harp I yet can brook to hear;
And let thy gentle fingers fling
  Its melting murmurs o'er mine ear. --
If in this heart a hope be dear,
  That sound shall charm it forth again --
If in these eyes there lurk a tear, 
  'Twill flow -- and cease to burn my brain --

But bid the strain be wild and deep,
  Nor let thy notes of joy be first:
I tell thee -- Minstrel! I must weep,
  Or else this heavy heart will burst --
For it hath been by sorrow nurst,
  And ached in sleepless silence [long]1 --
And now 'tis doom'd to know the worst,
  And break at once -- or yield to song.

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1 in some versions, "too long"


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 Danish (Dansk), a translation by Christian Preetzmann (1822 - 1893) , "Min Sjæl er mørk", appears in Hundrede Digte ved Caralis, first published 1867 ; composed by Jacob Deichmann Dahl, Carl Nielsen.
  • Also set in Dutch (Nederlands), a translation by Nicolaas Beets (1814 - 1903) , "'t Wordt nacht in mij" ; composed by Lodewijk Mortelmans.
  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by Léon de Béthune ; composed by Eugène Des Aubiez.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by (Karl) Wilhelm Osterwald (1820 - 1887) ; composed by Anton Grigoryevich Rubinstein.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Franz Theremin (1780 - 1846) , "Mein Geist ist trüb'", appears in Hebräische Gesänge, first published 1820 ; composed by Hugo Brückler, Joseph Gall, M. Henle, Carl Loewe.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Karl Julius Körner (1793 - 1873) , "Die Laute", appears in Israelitische Gesänge, no. 9, first published 1821 ; composed by Robert Schumann.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist , "Ein grauses Dunkel herrscht in meiner Seele", from Lord Byron's Sämmtliche werke: Nach den anforderungen unserer zeit, Volume 1, many translators, first published 1839 ; composed by Georg Schumann.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Adolf Böttger (1815 - 1870) , "Mein Geist ist trüb' -- o nimm geschwind", appears in Hebräische Melodien, no. 9, first published 1841 ; composed by Carl Georg Peter Grädener, Oskar Viktor Zack.
  • Also set in Norwegian (Nynorsk), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Susanna Heiberg.
  • Also set in Russian (Русский), a translation by Mikhail Yur'yevich Lermontov (1814 - 1841) , no title ; composed by Mily Alexeyevich Balakirev, Nikolay Dmitrevich Dmitriev, Konstantin Petrovich Galler, Iosif Yefimovich Gottbeyter, Aleksandr Mikhailovich Gurevich, Vladimir Mitrofanovich Ivanov-Korsunsky, Nikolay Ivanovich Kazanli, Ferdinand Fyodorovich Langer, Gavriil Yakimovich Lomakin, Aleksandr Ippolitovich Mann, Dmitry Mikheyevich Melkikh, Mikhail Nikolayevich Ofrosimov, Samuil Vladimirovich Polonsky, Anton Grigoryevich Rubinstein, Dmitry Fyodorovich Tarkhov, Dmitry Alekseyevich Tolstoy, F. A. Zaikin, Yakov Zeltser, Aleksandr Timofeyevich Zubanov.

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

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: 118