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Sag an, wer lehrt dich Lieder, So schmeichelnd und so zart? Sie [zaubern]1 einen Himmel Aus trüber Gegenwart. Erst lag das Land, verschleyert, Im Nebel vor uns da - Du singst - und Sonnen leuchten, Und Frühling ist uns nah. Den [Alten, Schilfbekränzten]2, Der seine Urne gießt, Erblickst du nicht, nur Wasser, Wie's durch die Wiesen fließt. So geht es auch dem Sänger, Er [singt und]3 staunt in sich; Was still ein Gott bereitet, Befremdet ihn, wie dich.
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Confirmed with Gedichte von Johann Mayrhofer. Wien. Bey Friedrich Volke. 1824, page 9; and with Conversationblatt. Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Unterhaltung. Dritter Jahrgang. 1821. Nr. 69. (Wien, Mittwoch den 29. August) Im Verlage der Gerold'schen Buchhandlung, page 821.
Note: Schubert received Mayrhofer's texts generally in handwriting; the printed edition of Mayrhofer's poems appeared much later and presents the texts usually in a revised version.1 Schubert: "rufen"
2 Schubert: "schilfbekränzten Alten"
3 Schubert: "singt, er"
- by Johann Baptist Mayrhofer (1787 - 1836), "Geheimniß", subtitle: "An F. Schubert" [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Franz Peter Schubert (1797 - 1828), "Geheimnis", D 491 (1816), published 1887 [ voice, piano ] [sung text checked 1 time]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Het geheim. Aan Franz Schubert", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Secret. To Franz Schubert", copyright ©
- ENG English [singable] (Yuxin (Sheila) Zhang) , "Secret. To Franz Schubert", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Secret. À Franz Schubert", copyright © 2010, (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: 2019-09-04 20:50:13
Line count: 16
Word count: 78
Oh say, who learns thee ditties, so flatt'ring and so fine? They conjure up a heaven from present gloom and whine. The land at first lay shrouded in mist before us there - thou sing - and sunbeams shine down, and springtime's in the air. The reed-coronalled old man who out his vessel pours thou never see; but water that through the meadows draws. So goes it with the singer: he sings, and awed is he; what God's in silence fashioned perplexes him and thee.
- Singable translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2012 by Yuxin (Sheila) Zhang, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.
Yuxin (Sheila) Zhang.  Contact: sheilazyx (AT) yahoo (DOT) comIf you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:
- a text in German (Deutsch) by Johann Baptist Mayrhofer (1787 - 1836), "Geheimniß", subtitle: "An F. Schubert"
Text added to the website: 2012-05-26 00:00:00
Last modified: 2017-08-08 15:27:04
Line count: 16
Word count: 85