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by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)
Translation by Ernst Eckstein (1845 - 1900)

The twilight is sad and cloudy
Language: English 
The twilight is sad and cloudy,
The wind blows wild and free,
And like the wings of [sea-birds]1
Flash the white caps of the sea.

But in the fisherman's cottage
There shines a ruddier light,
And a little face at the window
Peers out into the night.

Close, close it is pressed to the window,
As if those childish eyes
Were looking into the darkness,
To see some form arise.

And a woman's waving shadow
Is passing to and fro,
Now rising to the ceiling,
Now bowing and bending low.

What tale do the roaring ocean,
And the night-wind, bleak and wild,
As they beat at the crazy casement,
Tell to that little child?

And why do the roaring ocean,
And the night-wind, wild and bleak,
As they beat at the heart of the mother,
Drive the color from her cheek?

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Beach: "seagulls"

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):


Researcher for this text: Barbara Miller

This text was added to the website: 2005-08-03
Line count: 24
Word count: 141

Zwielicht
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Das Zwielicht ist trüb und wolkig,
Der Wind stürmt wild einher;
Wie der Möve schneeige Schwingen
Erglänzen die Klippen am Meer.

Dort in des Fischers Hütte,
Da glimmt ein röthliches Licht;
Da starrt durch's niedere Fenster
Ein blühendes Kindergesicht.

Es preßt die Augen und Wangen
An die Scheiben düster und kalt,
Als wollt' es im Dunkel erspähen
Eine wohlbekannte Gestalt.

Eines Weibes zitternder Schatten
Schwebt wankend auf und ab,
Und steigt zur rußigen Decke
Und beugt sich zum Boden hinab.

Was erzählen die tobenden Wellen
Und der nasse, frostige Wind,
Wenn das Glas er der Scheiben erschüttert,
Dem ängstlich harrenden Kind?

Warum machen die tobenden Wellen,
Und der Wind so frostig und naß,
Wenn das Herz er der Mutter erschüttert,
Ihre bebenden Wangen so blaß?

Confirmed with Ernst Eckstein, In Moll und Dur, Leipzig: Verlag von Johann Friedrich Hartknoch, 1877, pages 158-159.


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: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2022-04-13
Line count: 24
Word count: 125