by Nikolaus Lenau (1802 - 1850)
Translation © by Peter Palmer

Lethe! Brich die Fesseln des Ufers,...
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Lethe! Brich die Fesseln des Ufers, gieße 
Aus der Schattenwelt mir herüber deine 
Welle, daß den Wunden der bangen Seel' ich
  Trinke Genesung.1

Frühling kommt mit Duft und Gesang und Liebe,
Will wie sonst mir sinken ans Herz; doch schlägt ihm 
Nicht das Herz entgegen wie sonst. -- O Lethe! 
  Sende die Welle!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Kienzl adds the echo "Daß ich Trinke Genesung"


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):

  • ENG English (Peter Palmer) , "Longing to forget", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Désir d'oubli", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 8
Word count: 52

Longing to forget
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Lethe! Burst the fetters of your banks, pour 
your wave across to me from the world of shadows,
That I may drink a cure for the wounds 
  Of a frightened soul.

Spring brings fragrance and song and love,
Wanting as usual to fall on my breast;
But my heart does not beat its usual response. -- O Lethe!
  Send the wave!


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2011 by Peter Palmer, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2011-05-14
Line count: 8
Word count: 60