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Nichts (1885) Op. 10 no.2

Part of a series or song cycle:

8 Gedichte aus ‘Letzte Blätter’ (Op. 10)


Nennen soll ich, sagt ihr, meine
Königin im Liederreich!
Toren, die ihr seid, ich kenne
Sie am wenigsten von euch.
Fragt mich nach der Augen Farbe,
Fragt mich nach der Stimme Ton,
Fragt nach Gang und Tanz und Haltung,
Ach, und was weiß ich davon.
Ist die Sonne nicht die Quelle
Alles Lebens, alles Licht’s
Und was wissen von derselben
Ich, und ihr, und alle?—nichts.


You say I should name
My queen in the realm of song!
Fools that you are, I know
Her least of all of you.
Ask me the colour of her eyes,
Ask me about the sound of her voice,
Ask me about her walk, her dancing, her bearing,
Ah! what do I know of all that.
Is not the sun the source
Of all life, of all light,
And what do we know about it,
I and you and everyone?—nothing.
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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