by Johann Baptist Mayrhofer (1787 - 1836)
Translation © by Yuxin (Sheila) Zhang

Sag an, wer lehrt dich Lieder
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG ENG FRE
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"

Authorship:

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):

  • 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]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 78

Secret. To Franz Schubert
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
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.

Authorship:

  • 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) com

    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:

Based on:

 

This text was added to the website: 2012-05-26
Line count: 16
Word count: 85