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English translations of the German texts set by Richard Strauss and Joseph Marx

Ich liebe dich (I Love You)

Text: Detlev von Liliencron (1844 – 1909)

Four noble horses
Draw our carriage,
We live in the castle
Proud and content.
The rays of dawn
And the lightning at night,
Everything that they shine on
Belongs to us.

And though you roam the land,
Abandoned and banished:
I shall walk through the streets with you
In poverty and shame!
Our hands will bleed,
Our feet be sore,
Four pitiless walls,
Not a dog will know us.

When your silver-edged coffin
Stands at the altar,
They must lay me
Beside you on the bier.
Whether you die on the heath
Or die in distress,
I’ll draw my dagger
And join you in death!


Breit’ über mein Haupt dein schwarzes Haar (Unbind Your Black Hair)

Text: Adolf Friedrich, Graf von Schack (1815 – 1894)

Unbind your black hair right over my head,
Incline to me your face!
Then clearly and brightly into my soul
The light of your eyes will stream.

I want neither the glory of the sun above
Nor the gleaming garland of stars,
All I want are your black tresses
And the radiance of your eyes.


Wiegenlied (Lullaby)

Text: Richard Dehmel (1863 – 1920)

Dream, dream, my dear one,
of the heaven that brings flowers.
Shimmering there are blossoms that are
the song that your mother is singing.

Dream, dream, bud of my worries,
of the day the flower bloomed;
of the bright morning of blossoming,
when your little soul opened up to the world.

Dream, dream, blossom of my love,
of the quiet, of the holy night
when the flower of his love
made this world a heaven for me.


Allerseelen (All Souls’ Day)

Text: Hermann von Gilm (1812 – 1864)

Set on the table the fragrant mignonettes,
Bring in the last of the red asters,
And let us talk of love again
As once in May.

Give me your hand to press in secret,
And if people see, I do not care,
Give me but one of your sweet glances
As once in May.

Each grave today has flowers and is fragrant,
One day each year is devoted to the dead;
Come to my heart and so be mine again,
As once in May.


Zueignung (Dedication)

Text: Hermann von Gilm

Ah, you know, sweet, all my anguish,
In your absence, how I languish
Love brings sorrow to the heart!
Thanks, sweet heart!

Once, when merry songs were ringing
I to liberty was drinking,
You a blessing did impart.
Thanks, sweet heart!

You did lay those wanton spirits;
Comfort, peace my soul inherits,
Joy and bliss shall your love impart.
Thanks, sweet heart!


Selige Nacht (Blissful Night!)

Text: Otto Erich Hartleben (1864 – 1905)

In love’s arms we fell blissfully asleep.
The summer wind listened at the open window,
and carried the peace of our breathing
out into the moon-bright night. —

And from the garden a scent of roses
came timidly to our bed of love
and gave us wonderful dreams,
ecstatic dreams — so rich in longing!


Marienlied (Song to Mary)

Text: Novalis (Friedrich von Hardenberg; 1772 – 1801)

In a thousand images I see you,
Mary, lovingly depicted.
But none of them can portray you
Quite like my soul beholds you.

I only know that, ever since that time,
The turmoils of this world have drifted away like a dream,
And that a sweet and unimaginable heaven
Remains forever in my thoughts.


Hat dich die Liebe berührt (If Love Has Touched You)

Text: Paul Heyse (1830 – 1914)

If love has touched you,
Then quietly among the noisy throng
You walk in a golden cloud,
Led safely by a god

As if lost, you let your gaze
Stray about,
You do not begrudge others their joys,
You only yearn for one thing.

Timidly withdrawn into yourself in rapture,
You vainly try to conceal
That now the crown of life
Glowingly adorns your brow. adorns your brow.