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Songs

Songs

Wenn... (1896) Op. 31 no.2

Wenn...

Und wärst du mein Weib und wärst du mein Lieb,
Wie wollt' ich dich jauchzend umschlingen,
Ich wüßte ja nicht, wo das Herz mir blieb'
Vor lauter seligem Klingen.
Ich flög' in den nächtigen Himmel hinein,
Den funkelndsten Stern zu trennen,
Das wär' der leuchtende Demantstein,
Der sollt' im Haar dir brennen.
Nach Persien flög' ich, hinein ins Land;
Wo Schiras Rosen sich wiegen,
Die Rosen gäben das Kronenband,
Das sollt' dir die Locken umschmiegen.
Ich stieg' hernieder ins tiefste Meer
Und brächte dir rote Korallen,
Und meine Lieder, die wären ein Heer
Lenztrunkener Nachtigallen.
Die sollten um dich ihren Reigen ziehn,
Bis die Sehnsucht dich zu mir triebe,
Gewiegt und umklungen von Melodien,
Von junger, jauchzender Liebe.

If...

And were you my wife and were you my love,
How joyfully I’d embrace you,
I wouldn’t know what had happened to my heart,
Ringing with such pure joy.
I’d fly aloft into the night sky
To steal the brightest star,
That would be the flashing diamond
To sparkle in your hair.
I’d fly to the heart of Persia,
Where the roses of Shiraz sway in the wind –
The roses would serve as the diadem
To encircle your tresses.
I’d descend into the deepest sea
And bring you red corals,
And my songs would be a watch
Of spring-enraptured nightingales.
They would dance all around you
Until yearning drove you to me,
Lulled by the sound of melodies
Of young, rhapsodic love.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Composer

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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Poet

Carl Busse was a German lyric poet.


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