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Alte Liebe (1877) Op. 72 no.1

Alte Liebe

Es kehrt die dunkle Schwalbe
Aus fernem Land zurück,
Die frommen Störche kehren
Und bringen neues Glück.
An diesem Frühlingsmorgen,
So trüb verhängt und warm,
Ist mir, als fänd ich wieder
Den alten Liebesharm.
Es ist, als ob mich leise
Wer auf die Schulter schlug,
Als ob ich säuseln hörte,
Wie einer Taube Flug.
Es klopft an meine Türe,
Und ist doch niemand draus;
Ich atme Jasmindüfte,
Und habe keinen Strauß.
Es ruft mir aus der Ferne,
Ein Auge sieht mich an,
Ein alter Traum erfaßt mich
Und führt mich seine Bahn.

Old love

The dark swallow returns
From a distant land,
The pious storks return
And bring new happiness.
On this spring morning,
So bleakly veiled and warm,
I seem to rediscover
Love’s grief of old.
It is as if someone
Tapped me on the shoulder,
As if I heard a whirring,
Like a dove in flight.
There’s a knock at my door,
Yet no one stands outside;
I breathe the scent of jasmine,
Yet have no bouquet.
Someone calls me from afar,
Eyes are watching me,
An old dream takes hold of me
And leads me on its path.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Johannes Brahms (7 May 1833 – 3 April 1897) was a German composer, pianist, and conductor of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna. 

Brahms has been considered, by his contemporaries and by later writers, as both a traditionalist and an innovator. His music is firmly rooted in the structures and compositional techniques of the Classical masters. While many contemporaries found his music too academic, his contribution and craftsmanship have been admired by many. 

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Karl August Candidus was a 19th century German poet and librettist.

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