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Gretchen am Spinnrade Gretchen at the spinning-wheel

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe English Translation © Richard Stokes

Meine Ruh’ ist hin, My peace is gone

Mein Herz ist schwer, My heart is heavy;
Ich finde sie nimmer I shall never
Und nimmermehr. Ever find peace again.
Wo ich ihn nicht hab’ When he’s not with me,
Ist mir das Grab, Life’s like the grave;
Die ganze Welt The whole world
Ist mir vergällt. Is turned to gall.
Mein armer Kopf My poor head
Ist mir verrückt Is crazed,
Mein armer Sinn My poor mind
Ist mir zerstückt. Shattered.
Meine Ruh’ ist hin, My peace is gone
Mein Herz ist schwer, My heart is heavy;
Ich finde sie nimmer I shall never
Und nimmermehr. Ever find peace again.
Nach ihm nur schau’ ich It’s only for him
Zum Fenster hinaus, I gaze from the window,
Nach ihm nur geh’ ich It’s only for him
Aus dem Haus. I leave the house.
Sein hoher Gang, His proud bearing
Sein’ edle Gestalt, His noble form,
Seines Mundes Lächeln, The smile on his lips,
Seiner Augen Gewalt. The power of his eyes,
Und seiner Rede And the magic flow
Zauberfluss. Of his words,
Sein Händedruck, The touch of his hand,
Und ach, sein Kuss! And ah, his kiss!
Meine Ruh’ ist hin, My peace is gone
Mein Herz ist schwer, My heart is heavy;
Ich finde sie nimmer I shall never
Und nimmermehr. Ever find peace again.
Mein Busen drängt sich My bosom
Nach ihm hin. Yearns for him.
Ach dürft’ ich fassen Ah! if I could clasp
Und halten ihn. And hold him,
Und küssen ihn And kiss him
So wie ich wollt’ To my heart’s content,
An seinen Küssen And in his kisses
Vergehen sollt’! Perish!
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The
Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)
Nacht und Träume
Matthäus von Collin Night and Dreams
Heil’ge Nacht, du sinkest nieder; English Translation © Richard Wigmore
Nieder wallen auch die Träume,
Wie dein Mondlicht durch die Räume, Holy night, you sink down;
Durch der Menschen stille Brust. dreams, too, float down,
Die belauschen sie mit Lust; like your moonlight through space,
Rufen, wenn der Tag erwacht: through the silent hearts of men.
Kehre wieder, heil’ge Nacht! They listen with delight,
Holde Träume, kehret wieder! crying out when day awakes:
come back, holy night!
An die Musik Fair dreams, return!
Franz von Schober To Music
Du holde Kunst, in wieviel grauen Stunden, English Translation © Richard Wigmore
Wo mich des Lebens wilder Kreis umstrickt, 
Hast du mein Herz zu warmer Lieb Beloved art, in how many a bleak hour,
entzunden,  when I am enmeshed in life’s tumultuous
Hast mich in eine bessre Welt entrückt! round, 
have you kindled my heart to the warmth of
Oft hat ein Seufzer, deiner Harf entflossen,  love, 
Ein süsser, heiliger Akkord von dir and borne me away to a better world!
Den Himmel bessrer Zeiten mir erschlossen, 
Du holde Kunst, ich danke dir dafür! Often a sigh, escaping from your harp,
a sweet, celestial chord
Si mes vers avaient des ailes has revealed to me a heaven of happier
Victor Hugo
Beloved art, for this I thank you!
Mes vers fuiraient, doux et frêles,
Vers votre jardin si beau, If my verses had wings
Si mes vers avaient des ailes, English Translation © Richard Stokes
Comme l’oiseau.
My verses would flee, sweet and frail,
Ils voleraient, étincelles, To your garden so fair,
Vers votre foyer qui rit, If my verses had wings,
Si mes vers avaient des ailes, Like a bird.
Comme l’esprit.
They would fly, like sparks,
Près de vous, purs et fidèles, To your smiling hearth,
Ils accourraient nuit et jour, If my verses had wings,
Si mes vers avaient des ailes, Like the mind.
Comme l’amour.
Pure and faithful, to your side
They’d hasten night and day,
If my verses had wings,
Like love!
Translations by Richard Stokes, from A
French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)
A comperar l’anello!
Sì, sì, ci voglio andare!

Beau Soir Beautiful evening

Paul Bourget English Translation © Richard Stokes
Lorsque au soleil couchant les rivières sont When at sunset the rivers are pink
roses, And a warm breeze ripples the fields of wheat,
Et qu’un tiède frisson court sur les champs de All things seem to advise content -
blé, And rise toward the troubled heart;
Un conseil d’être heureux semble sortir des
choses Advise us to savour the gift of life,
Et monter vers le cœur troublé; While we are young and the evening fair,
For our life slips by, as that river does:
Un conseil de goûter le charme d’être au It to the sea - we to the tomb.
Cependant qu’on est jeune et que le soir est Translation © Richard Stokes, from A French
beau, Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)
Car nous nous en allons, comme s’en va cette
Elle à la mer—nous au tombeau!
Translation into English by Ann Feeney (added
1997-04-04) She has fled, the turtledove!
Elle a fui, la tourtelle!, Antonia's
aria from Les Contes d'Hoffmann Ah, memory too sweet, Image
Elle a fui, la tourtelle! too cruel! Alas, at my
Ah! souvenir trop doux! knees, I hear him, I see
Image trop cruelle! him! I hear him, I see
Hélas! à  mes genoux, him!
Je l'entends, je le vois! She has flown, the turtledove,
Je l'entends, je le vois! She has flown far from you; But
she is always faithful And keeps
Elle a fui, la tourterelle, her vow My
Elle a fui loin de toi; beloved, my voice calls you
Mais elle est toujours fidèle Yes, all my heart is yours
Et te garde sa foi.
Mon bienaimé, ma voix t'appelle, Dear flower, just opened,
Oui, tout mon coeur est à  toi. Have pity, answer me.
You who knows if he still lives me,
Chère fleur qui viens d'éclore If he keeps his vow.
Par pitié réponds moi! My beloved, my voice begs you,
Toi qui sais s'il m'aime encore, Ah, let your heart come to me.
S'il me garde sa foi! She has flown, the turtledove,
Mon bienaimé, ma voix t'implore, She has flown far from you.
Ah! que ton coeur vienne à  moi.
Elle a fui, la tourterelle, Word-by-word translation by Ann Feeney,
Elle a fui loin de toi. afeeney@Mcs.Net

‘O mio babbino caro’

O mio babbino caro
My dear father,
Mi piace, è bello, bello
I like him,he’s beautiful, beautiful;
Vo’ andare in Porta Rossa
I want to go to Porta Rossa So ben:
and buy the ring! le angoscie tue non le vuoi dir,
Ma ti senti morir!
Yes, yes, I want to go!
E se l’amassi indarno, And if my love is in vain,
Andrei sul Ponte Vecchio, I would go upon the Ponte Vecchio(the old
Ma per buttarmi in Arno! Bridge in Florence),
Mi struggo e mi tormento! only to jump in the Arno(the river in Florence),
O Dio, vorrei morir! I long for him and torment myself
Babbo, pietà, pietà! O God, I’d like to die!
Babbo, pietà, pietà! Father, have pity, have pity!
Father, have pity, have pity!
Translated by Giuseppe Cusmano
In Quelle Trine Morbide
MANON English Translation:
È ver! L'ho abbandonato MANON
senza un saluto, un bacio! It's ver! I abandoned it
Si guarda intorno e si ferma cogli occhi all'alcova. without a greeting, a kiss!
In quelle trine morbide … He looks around and stops with his eyes at the
nell'alcova dorata v'è un silenzio alcove.
gelido, mortal, v'è un silenzio, In those soft lace ...
un freddo che m'agghiaccia! in the golden alcove there is a silence
Ed io che m'ero avvezza frosty, mortal, there is a silence,
a una carezza a cold that chills me!
voluttuosa And I was used to it
di labbra ardenti e d'infuocate braccia to a caress
or ho tutt'altra cosa! voluptuous
pensierosa of burning lips and fiery arms
O mia dimora umile, or I have another thing!
tu mi ritorni innanzi pensively
gaia, isolata, bianca O my humble home,
come un sogno gentile you come back to me
di pace e d'amor! gay, isolated, white
like a kind dream
Quando m’en vo’: of peace and of love!
English Translation:
Quando m’en vo soletta per la via,
La gente sosta e mira
E la bellezza mia tutta ricerca in me When I go walk all alone in the street,
Da capo a pie'... People stop and stare at me
And look for my whole beauty
Ed assaporo allor la bramosia
From head to foot.
Sottil, che da gli occhi traspira
E dai palesi vezzi intender sa And then I taste the slight yearning
Alle occulte beltà. which transpires from their eyes,
Così l'effluvio del desìo and which is able to perceive from manifest
tutta m'aggira, charms to most hidden beauties.
Felice mi fa! So the scent of desire is all around
me, it makes me happy!
E tu che sai, che memori e ti struggi
Da me tanto rifuggi?
And you, while knowing, reminding and longing,
you shrink from me?
I know it very well:
you don’t want to express your anguish,
but you feel as if you’re dying!

Translated by Giuseppe Cusmano