Translation by Ferdinand Freiligrath (1810 - 1876)

Song
Language: English 
What woke the buried sound that lay 
  In Memnon's harp of yore ? 
What spirit on its viewless way 
  Along the Nile's green shore ?
  -- Oh ! not the night, and not the storm, 
  And not the lightning's fire ; 
But sunlight's touch -- the kind -- the warm --
  This woke the mystic lyre!
  This, this, awoke the lyre!

What wins the heart's deep chords to pour 
  Their music forth on life 
Like a sweet voice prevailing o'er 
  The sounds of torrent strife ?
  -- Oh! not the conflict midst the throng, 
  Not e'en the triumph's hour ; --
Love is the gifted and the strong, 
  To wake that music's power!
  His breath awakes that power!

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Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2011-04-01
Line count: 18
Word count: 112

Was weckte den Ton, der lang geruht
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Was weckte den Ton, der lang geruht
In Memnons Harfe vor Zeiten?
Wer, an des Niles grüner Flut,
Wer griff so kühn in die Saiten?
-- O, nicht der Sturm und nicht die Nacht
Und nicht des Blitzes Feuer --
Das Sonnenlicht mit warmer Pracht,
Das weckte die mystische Leier!
Das einzig weckte die Leier!

Was weckt des Herzens tiefen Klang
Zu reinen, innigen Chören,
daß er, wie himmlischer Gesang,
Die Stürme mag beschwören?
-- O, nicht Kampfgewühl und nicht Schwertesstreich,
Kein sieghaft Bannerschwingen --
Nur die Liebe, stark und gabenreich,
Erweckt der Seele Klingen!
Sie nur der Seele Klingen!

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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]

This text was added to the website: 2011-04-01
Line count: 18
Word count: 96