by Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856)
Translation by Edgar Alfred Bowring (1826 - 1911)

Was will die einsame Träne?
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE ITA
Was will die einsame Träne?
Sie trübt mir ja den Blick.
Sie blieb aus alten Zeiten
In meinem Auge zurück.

Sie hatte viel leuchtende Schwestern,
Die alle zerflossen sind,
Mit meinen Qualen und Freuden
Zerflossen in Nacht und Wind.

Wie Nebel sind auch zerflossen
Die blauen Sternelein,
Die mir [jene]1 Freuden und Qualen
Gelächelt ins Herz hinein.

Ach, meine Liebe selber
Zerfloß wie eitel Hauch!
Du alte, einsame Träne,
Zerfließe jetzunder auch!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Cornelius: "die"

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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Marta Garcia Cadena) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Jos. Van de Vijver) , "Eenzame traan"
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Wat wil het eenzame traantje?", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "What does this solitary tear mean?", copyright ©
  • ENG English (Emma Lazarus) , appears in Poems and Ballads of Heinrich Heine, first published 1881
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Que veut cette larme solitaire", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Cosa vuole questa lacrima solitaria?", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


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

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2018-03-15 21:42:17
Line count: 16
Word count: 72

What means this tear all‑lonely
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
What means this tear all-lonely 
  That troubles now my gaze? 
Of olden times the offspring 
  Still in mine eye it stays.

It had its shining sisters,
  Who all have faded from sight,
With all my joys and sorrows,
  Yea, faded in storm and night.

Like clouds have also fleeted 
  The stars so blue and mild,
Which into my yearning bosom
  Those joys and sorrows once smiled.

Ah, even my love's devotion 
  Like idle breath did decay;
Thou old, old tear all lonely 
  Do thou, too, pass away!

About the headline (FAQ)

Authorship

Based on

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]

Text added to the website: 2013-09-26 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:37
Line count: 16
Word count: 87