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O süßer Mai! (1896) Op. 32 no.4

Part of a series or song cycle:

Five Songs (Op. 32)

O süßer Mai!

O süßer Mai, o habe du Erbarmen,
O süßer Mai, dich fleh’ ich glühend an:
An deiner Brust seh’ ich die Flur erwarmen,
Und alles schwillt, was lebt in deinem Bann.
Der du so mild und huldvoll ohne Ende,
O lieber Mai, gewähre mir die Spende!
Der düstre Pilger, der in diesen Gau’n
Entrann dem Eishauch winterlicher Zeit,
Erkor ein Mädchen, mild wie du zu schauen,
Lenzfrisch gleich dir in keuscher Herrlichkeit.
Daß wir uns lieben und in Lieb’ umarmen,
Erbarmen, Mai, Holdseligste, Erbarmen!

O sweet May!

O sweet May, O have mercy,
O sweet May, I beseech you fervently:
I see the fields grow warm at your breast,
And everything teems beneath your spell.
You who are so endlessly gentle and gracious,
O beloved May, bestow on me your gifts!
The gloomy pilgrim, who in this region
Escaped the icy breath of wintertime,
Chose a girl as sweet to see as you,
As fresh as Spring like you in chaste splendour.
We love each other in love’s embrace,
Have mercy, lovely blessed May, have mercy!
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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