by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Heiß mich nicht reden, heiß mich...
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE GRE ITA ITA
Heiß mich nicht reden, heiß mich schweigen,
Denn mein Geheimniß ist mir Pflicht;
Ich möchte dir mein ganzes Innre zeigen,
Allein das Schicksal will es nicht.

[Zur rechten]1 Zeit vertreibt der Sonne Lauf
Die finstre Nacht, und sie muß sich erhellen;
Der harte Fels schließt seinen Busen auf,
Mißgönnt der Erde nicht die tiefverborgnen Quellen.

Ein jeder sucht im Arm [des Freundes]2 Ruh,
Dort kann die Brust in Klagen sich ergießen;
Allein ein Schwur drückt mir die Lippen zu
Und nur ein Gott vermag sie aufzuschließen.

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Confirmed with Goethe's Werke. Vollständige Ausgabe letzter Hand. Zweyter Band. Stuttgart und Tübingen, in der J.G.Cotta'schen Buchhandlung. 1827, page 117; and with Goethe's Werke. Vollständige Ausgabe letzter Hand. Neunzehnter Band. Stuttgart und Tübingen, in der J.G.Cotta'schen Buchhandlung. 1828, page 262.

First published in Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre. Ein Roman. Herausgegeben von Goethe. Dritter Band, Berlin. Bei Johann Friedrich Unger. 1795, pages 203-204. The poem appears in Book 5, Chapter 16 of Goethe's novel.

1 Schubert (first setting, D. 726): "Zu rechter"
2 Goethe (only in the editions of the poems, not in the novel): "der Freunde"

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) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Doe mij niet spreken, laat mij zwijgen", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Don't ask me to speak", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Ne me dis pas de parler, dis-moi de me taire", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GRE Greek (Ελληνικά) [singable] (Christakis Poumbouris) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Non chiedermi di parlare", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Paolo Montanari) , "Non chiedere ch'io parli", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Thierry Morice , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2018-05-22 14:15:47
Line count: 12
Word count: 86

Don't ask me to speak
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Don't ask me to speak - ask me to be silent,
for my secret is a [solemn] duty to me.
I wish I could bare my soul to you,
but Fate does not will it.

At the right time, the sun's course will dispell
the dark night, and it must be illuminated.
The hard rock will open its bosom; and
ungrudgingly, the earth will release deep hidden springs.

Others may seek calm in the arms of a friend;
there one can pour out one's heart in lament.
But for me alone, a vow locks my lips,
And only a god has the power to open them.

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive -- https://www.lieder.net/

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.


Based on

 

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:30
Line count: 12
Word count: 106