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.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

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]

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

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

 

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