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Erwartung (1899) Op. 2 no.1

Part of a series or song cycle:

Vier Lieder (Op. 2)


Aus dem meergrünen Teiche
neben der roten Villa
unter der toten Eiche
scheint der Mond.
Wo ihr dunkles Abbild
durch das Wasser greift,
steht ein Mann und streift
einen Ring von seiner Hand.
Drei Opale blinken;
durch die bleichen Steine
schwimmen rot und grüne
funken und versinken.
Und er küßt sie, und
seine Augen leuchten
wie der meergrüne Grund:
ein Fenster tut sich auf.
Aus der roten Villa
neben der toten Eiche
winkt ihm eine bleiche


From the sea-green pond
near the red villa
beneath the dead oak
the moon is shining.
Where her dark image
gleams through the water,
a man stands, and draws
a ring from his hand.
Three opals glimmer;
among the pale stones
float red and green sparks
and sink.
And he kisses her,
and his eyes gleam
like the sea-green depths:
a window opens.
From the red villa
near the dead oak,
a woman’s pale hand
waves to him.
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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Richard Fedor Leopold Dehmel was a German poet and writer. His poems use a range of metrical patterns, and have been set to music by composers such as Richard Strauss, Arnold Schoenberg, and Kurt Weill. His poetry often focused on themes of love and sensuality, and he was tried for obscenity and blasphemy in the late 1890s.

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