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Skazhy o chom v teni vetvej ('Oh say, what is it, in shady branches') (1884) Op. 57 no.1

Skazhy o chom v teni vetvej ('Oh say, what is it, in shady branches')

Skazhi, o chjom v teni vetvej,
kogda priroda otdykhajet,
pojot vesennij solovej
i chto on pesnej vyrazhajet?
Chto tajno vsem volnujet krov'?
Skazhi, skazhi, kakoje slovo
znakomo vsem i vechno novo?
Skazhi, o chjom najedine
v razdum'e devushka gadajet,
chto tajnym trepetom vo sne
jej strakh i radost' obeshchajet?
Nedug tot strannyj nazovi,
v kotorom svetlaja otrada.
Chego jej zhdat'? Chego jej nado?
Kogda ot zhiznennoj toski
ty, utomlennyj, iznyvajesh'
i, zloj pechali vopreki,
khot' prizrak schast'ja prizyvajesh'
chto uslazhdajet grud' tvoju?
Ne te li zvuki nezemnye,
kogda uslyshal ty vpervye --

Oh say, what is it, in shady branches

Oh say, what is it, in shady branches,
When nature is at rest,
That makes the nightingale sing in spring,
And what it is that his song expresses?
What stirs our blood so mysteriously?
Oh say, oh say, what word
Is known to all and is so ever new?
It is love!
Of say, what causes, all alone,
The maiden to wonder and presume,
What fills her sleep with secret trembling,
And promises fear and joy?
Oh name that strange affliction,
Full of radiant delight, for which
She longs and so desires:
It is love!
Oh say, when burdened by life’s cares,
You languish in exhaustion,
And yet for all sad care,
You still summon up the ghost of happiness,
What brings gladness to your breast?
Is it not those unearthly sounds,
When you first heard
The words, the words of love!

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Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a Russian composer of the Romantic period. His works are still among the most popular music in the classical repetoire, and he is widely acknowledged as the first Russian composer to make a lasting international impression.

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