by August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767 - 1845)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Quälend ungestilltes Sehnen
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
[Quälend ungestilltes]1 Sehnen
Pocht mir in empörter Brust.
Liebe, die mir Seel' und Sinnen
Schmeichelnd wußte zu gewinnen,
Wiegt dein zauberisches Wähnen
Nur in Träume kurzer Lust,
Und erweckt zu Thränen?
  Süß berauscht [in]2 Thränen
  An des Lieben Brust mich lehnen,
  Arm um Arm gestrickt, 
  Mund auf Mund gedrückt,
  Das nur stillt mein Sehnen!

Ach, ich gab ihm keine Kunde,
Wußt' es selber nicht zuvor;
Und nun beb ich so beklommen:
Wird der Traute, wird er kommen?
Still und günstig ist die Stunde,
Nirgends droht ein horchend Ohr
Dem geheimen Bunde.
  Treu im sel'gen Bunde
  An des Lieben Brust mich lehnen,
  Arm um Arm gestrickt,
  Mund auf Mund gedrückt,
  Das nur stillt mein Sehnen!

Hör ich leise Tritte rauschen,
Denk' ich: ah, da ist er schon!
Ahndung hat ihm wohl verkündet,
Daß die schöne Zeit sich findet,
Wonn' um Wonne frey zu tauschen. -
Doch sie ist schon halb entflohn
Bey vergebnem Lauschen.
  Mit entzücktem Lauschen
  An des Lieben Brust mich lehnen,
  Arm um Arm gestrickt,
  Mund auf Mund gedrückt,
  Das nur stillt mein Sehnen!

Täuschen wird vielleicht mein Sehnen,
Hofft' ich, des Gesanges Lust.
Ungestümer Wünsche Glühen
Lindern sanfte Melodieen. -
Doch das Lied enthob mit Stöhnen
Tief erathmend sich der Brust,
Und erstarb in Thränen.
  Süß berauscht in Thränen
  An des Lieben Brust mich lehnen,
  Arm um Arm gestrickt,
  Mund auf Mund gedrückt,
  Das nur stillt mein Sehnen!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with A. W. Schlegel's poetische Werke. Erster Theil. Neueste Auflage. Wien 1816. Bey B. Ph. Bauer, pages 135-137; with August Wilhelm Schlegels poetische Werke. Erster Theil. Heidelberg bey Mohr und Zimmer 1811, pages 166-168; and with Gedichte von August Wilhelm Schlegel. Tübingen, in der J. G. Cotta'schen Buchhandlung. 1800, pages 35-37.

First published in Taschenbuch und Almanach zum geselligen Vergnügen - von W.G. Becker für 1796, with a different refrain; see below.

1 Schlegel (editions before 1811), and prior settings (Schreiber, Nägeli): "Qual des ungestillten"
2 Schlegel (Heidelberg 1811 edition): "zu" (probably misprint)

Authorship

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

Another version of this text exists in the database.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Het verspilde uur", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "The missed opportunity", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "L'heure manquée", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2018-11-03 09:05:39
Line count: 48
Word count: 230

The missed opportunity
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Torturing, unstilled longing
Pounds within my outraged bosom.
Love, which flatteringly succeeded
In winning my soul and senses,
[Love] sways the magical expectation [of your coming]
Only into dreams of brief joy,
And awakens [me] to tears?
Sweetly intoxicated by tears
To lean upon my beloved's breast,
Arms entwined with [each other's] arms,
Lips pressed upon [each other's] lips,
That alone stills my longing!

Ah, I gave him no tidings,
I did not know it myself earlier;
And now I tremble so anxiously:
Will the dear one, will he come?
Quiet and propitious is the hour,
Nowhere does a listening ear
Threaten the secret bond.
Faithful in the blessed bond
To lean upon my beloved's breast,
Arms entwined with [each other's] arms,
Lips pressed upon [each other's] lips,
That alone stills my longing!

When I hear quiet footsteps sounding,
I think: ah, there he is already!
A premonition has likely told him,
That the beautiful time has come
For a free exchange of joy for joy --
But [time] is already half flown
With futile hearkening.
With enraptured hearkening
To lean upon my beloved's breast,
Arms entwined with [each other's] arms,
Lips pressed upon [each other's] lips,
That alone stills my longing!

I had hoped that the joy of song
Might beguile my longing.
The burning of wild wishes
May be soothed by gentle melodies --
But groaningly the song rose
From my breast with a deep breath,
And perished in tears.
Sweetly intoxicated by tears
To lean upon my beloved's breast,
Arms entwined with [each other's] arms,
Lips pressed upon [each other's] lips,
That alone stills my longing!

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2011 by Sharon Krebs, (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.
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Based on

 

Text added to the website: 2011-08-21 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:31
Line count: 48
Word count: 267