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Hoffen und wieder verzagen (1888) Op. 19 no.5

Hoffen und wieder verzagen

Hoffen und wieder verzagen,
Harrend lauschen an ihrem Balkon,
Ob nicht, vom Winde getragen,
Zu mir dringe von ihr ein Ton,
Also reih’n seit Monden schon
Tage sich mir zu Tagen.
Spät, wenn stumm und stummer
Nacht sich lagert im öden Revier,
Senken zu kurzem Schlummer
Sich ermüdet die Wimpern mir;
Wieder empor aus Träumen von ihr
Fahr’ ich zu neuem Kummer.
Aber, o Himmel, ich flehe:
Raube mir nicht mein teuerstes Gut,
Dies beglückende Wehe,
Das ich genährt mit des Herzens Blut!
Hoch und höher laß lodern die Glut,
Drin ich selig vergehe!

Hoping and then despairing

Hoping and then despairing,
Waiting and listening by her balcony,
In case, borne by the wind,
A sound from her might reach me,
Thus for many months now
Day has succeeded day.
Late in the evening, when ever more silently
Night settles over the desolate land,
My weary eyelids sink
And I sleep for a short while;
From dreams of her
I am jolted awake to fresh grief.
But I beseech you, heaven:
Do not steal my dearest treasure,
This enchanting pain
That I’ve nourished with my heart’s blood!
May it blaze ever higher, this fire
In which I blissfully perish!
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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