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Mein Herz ist stumm (1888) Op. 19 no.6

Mein Herz ist stumm

Mein Herz ist stumm, mein Herz ist kalt,
Erstarrt in des Winters Eise;
Bisweilen in seiner Tiefe nur wallt
Und zittert und regt sichs leise.
Dann ists, als ob ein mildes Thaun
Die Decke des Frostes breche;
Durch grünende Wälder, blühende Aun
Murmeln von Neuem die Bäche.
Und Hörnerklang, von Blatt zu Blatt
Vom Frühlingswinde getragen,
Dringt aus den Schluchten ans Ohr mir matt,
Wie ein Ruf aus seligen Tagen.
Doch das alternde Herz wird jung nicht mehr,
Das Echo sterbenden Schalles
Tönt ferner, immer ferner her,
Und wieder erstarrt liegt Alles.

My heart is silent

My heart is silent, my heart is cold,
Frozen in the winter’s ice;
Only occasionally in its depths
Does it flutter, and quiver and gently stir.
It seems then as if a gentle thaw
Breaks the surface of the frost;
Through burgeoning wood and blossoming mead
The brooklets once more murmur.
And the sound of horns, borne from leaf to leaf
By the winds of spring,
Rising from ravines, falls faintly on my ear,
Like a call from blissful days.
Yet my ageing heart will not be young again,
The echo of the dying sound
Comes from ever further away,
And all once more is frozen.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Composer

Richard Georg Strauss was a German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is particularly well-known for his operas, Lieder, and tone poems. 

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