by Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856)
Translation by Emma Lazarus (1849 - 1887)

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 lonely tear‑drop
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
What means this lonely tear-drop
   That blurs my troubled sight,
From olden times returning
   Back to mine eyes to-night? 

Its many glimmering sisters
   Are vanished long ago,
In the night and the wind thy vanished
   With all my joy and my woe. 

And like the mists of evening
   Did those blue stars depart,
That smiled all joys and sorrows
   Into my trusting heart. 

Alas! my love, too, melted
   Like idle breath one day;
Oh lingering, lonely tear-drop,
   Thou also fade 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)

    [ None yet in the database ]


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2008-04-18 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:40
Line count: 16
Word count: 81