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Litanei (1908) Op. 10 no.3

Part of a series or song cycle:

String Quartet No.2 in F minor (Op. 10 )


Tief ist die trauer
die mich umdüstert,
Ein tret ich wieder
Herr! in dein haus …
Lang war die reise,
matt sind die glieder,
Leer sind die schreine,
voll nur die qual.
Durstende zunge
darbt nach dem weine.
Hart war gestritten,
starr ist mein arm.
Gönne die ruhe
schwankenden schritten,
Hungrigem gaume
bröckle dein brot!
Schwach ist mein atem
rufend dem trauma,
Hohl sind die hände,
fiebernd der mund . .
Leih deine kühle,
lösche die brände,
Tilge das hoffen,
sende das licht!
Gluten im herzen
lodern noch offen,
Innerst im grunde
wacht noch ein schrei . .
Töte das sehnen,
schliesse die wunde!
Nimm mir die liebe,
gieb mir dein glück!


Deep is the sorrow
that darkens around me,
Once more I enter,
Lord! thy house…
Long was the journey,
weary now the limbs.
Empty the altars,
full only the torment.
The parched tongue
longs for the wine.
Hard was the struggle,
numb is my arm.
Grant sweet repose
to faltering footsteps,
For hungry mouths
crumble your bread!
Weak is my breath
calling forth the dream,
Hands are empty,
feverish the mouth . .
Lend thy coolness,
quench the conflagration,
Cancel all hope,
vouchsafe the light!
Fires in the heart
still glow openly,
Deep within me
a cry is still awake . .
Kill all longing,
close the wound!
Take love from me.
give me thy joy!
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Arnold Franz Walter Schoenberg or Schönberg was an Austrian composer, music theorist, and painter. He was associated with the expressionist movement in German poetry and art, and leader of the Second Viennese School.

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Stefan Anton George (12 July 1868 – 4 December 1933) was a German symbolist poet and a translator of Dante Alighieri, William Shakespeare, and Charles Baudelaire.

Read more about his life here.

Read some of his poetry here in the original German.


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(As part of a song cycle/series:)

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