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Cäcilie (1894) Op. 27 no.2


Wenn Du es wüßtest,
Was träumen heißt
Von brennenden Küssen,
Vom Wandern und Ruhen
Mit der Geliebten,
Aug’ in Auge,
Und kosend und plaudernd –
Wenn Du es wüßtest,
Du neigtest Dein Herz!
Wenn Du es wüßtest,
Was bangen heißt
In einsamen Nächten,
Umschauert vom Sturm,
Da Niemand tröstet
Milden Mundes
Die kampfmüde Seele –
Wenn Du es wüßtest,
Du kämest zu mir.
Wenn Du es wüßtest,
Was leben heißt,
Umhaucht von der Gottheit
Weltschaffendem Atem,
Zu schweben empor,
Zu seligen Höh’en,
Wenn Du es wüßtest,
Du lebtest mit mir.


If you knew
What it is to dream
Of burning kisses,
Of walking and resting
With one’s love,
Gazing at each other
And caressing and talking –
If you knew,
Your heart would turn to me.
If you knew
What it is to worry
On lonely nights
In the frightening storm,
With no soft voice
To comfort
The struggle-weary soul –
If you knew,
You would come to me.
If you knew
What it is to live
Enveloped in God’s
World-creating breath,
To soar upwards,
Borne on light
To blessed heights –
If you knew,
You would live with me.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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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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Heinrich Hart was a German author and naturalist literary and theatre critic. Together with his brother and close collaborator, Julius Hart, he became a pioneer of naturalism in German literature.

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