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Nacht (1907)

Part of a series or song cycle:

Sieben frühe Lieder


Dämmern Wolken über Nacht und Tal.
Nebel schweben. Wasser rauschen sacht.
Nun entschleiert sich’s mit einem Mal.
O gib acht! gib acht!
Weites Wunderland ist aufgetan,
Silbern ragen Berge traumhaft groß,
Stille Pfade silberlicht talan
Aus verborg’nem Schoß.
Und die hehre Welt so traumhaft rein.
Stummer Buchenbaum am Wege steht
Schattenschwarz – ein Hauch vom fernen Hain
Einsam leise weht.
Und aus tiefen Grundes Düsterheit
Blinken Lichter auf in stummer Nacht.
Trinke Seele! trinke Einsamkeit!
O gib acht! gib acht!


Clouds loom over night and valley.
Mists hover, waters softly murmur.
Now at once all is unveiled.
O take heed! take heed!
A vast wonderland opens up,
Silvery mountains soar dreamlike tall,
Silent paths climb silver-bright valleywards
From a hidden womb.
And the glorious world so dreamlike pure.
A silent beech-tree stands by the wayside
Shadow-black – a breath from the distant grove
Blows solitary soft.
And from the deep valley’s gloom
Lights twinkle in the silent night.
Drink soul! drink solitude!
O take heed! take heed!
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Alban Maria Johannes Berg was an Austrian composer of the Second Viennese School. His circle included the musicians Alexander von Zemlinsky and Franz Schreker, the painter Gustav Klimt, the writer and satirist Karl Kraus, the architect Adolf Loos, and the poet Peter Altenberg. 

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