by Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

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 does this solitary tear mean?
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
 What does this solitary tear mean?
 - it so blurs my gaze.
 It has lingered since long ago
 behind my eye.
 
 It had several shining sisters,
 which have all flown away
 with my agonies and joys,
 flown away in night and wind.
 
 Like mist have also faded away
 the blue little stars
 through which my joys and agonies
 were smiled into my heart.
 
 Alas, my love itself
 has vanished, like a vain breath!
 You old, lonely tear,
 flow down then and be gone!

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 10:01:32
Line count: 16
Word count: 84