by Thomas Moore (1779 - 1852)
Translation by Ferdinand Freiligrath (1810 - 1876)

How oft, when watching stars
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
Oft, when the watching stars grow pale,
And round me sleeps the moonlight scene,
To hear a flute through yonder vale
I from my casement lean.
"Come, come, my love!" each note then seems to say,
"Oh, come, my love! the night wears fast away!"
Never to mortal ear
Could words, tho' warm they be,
Speak Passion's language half so clear
As do those notes to me!

Then quick my own light lute I seek,
And strike the chords with loudest swell;
And, tho' they naught to others speak,
He knows their language well.
"I come, my love!" each note then seems to say,
"I come, my love! -- thine, thine till break of day."
Oh, weak the power of words,
The hues of painting dim,
Compar'd to what those simple chords
Then say and paint to him!

Confirmed with Thomas Moore, A New Edition from the last London Edition, Boston: Lee and Shepard; New York: Lee, Shepard, & Dillingham, 1876.


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Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Souvent, lorsque les étoiles de garde pâlissent", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2011-07-17 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:28
Line count: 20
Word count: 137

Wie manchmal, wenn des Mondes Strahl
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Wie manchmal, wenn des Mondes Strahl
Die Berge zitternd küßt ringsum,
Zu lauschen einer Flöt' im Thal,
Lehn' ich am Erker stumm!
"O komm, mein Lieb!" sagt leise flehend jeder Ton.
"O komm, mein Lieb! die Nacht ist bald entflohn!"
Nein, keiner Rede Krast,
Wie warm, wie feurig auch,
Malt glühend so die Leidenschaft,
Wie dieser Töne Hauch!

Dann -- wahrlich nicht von ungefähr! --
Ergreif' auch ich die Laute -- wohl
Ist Andern fremd ihr Klang, doch Er
Kennt ihre Sprache wohl!
"Ich komme, Lieb!" sagt leis verheißend jeder Ton;
"Ich komme! Dein, dein, bis die Nacht entflohn!"
O, schwach das mächt'ge Wort,
Und matt der Farben Licht
Bei dem, was zitternd mein Akkord
Alsdann ihm malt und spricht!

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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]

Text added to the website: 2011-07-17 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:28
Line count: 20
Word count: 117