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Nächtliche Scheu (1907)

Part of a series or song cycle:

Fünf Lieder

Nächtliche Scheu

Zaghaft vom Gewölk ins Land
fließt des Lichtes Flut
aus des Mondes bleicher Hand,
dämpft mir alle Glut.
Ein verirrter Schimmer schwebt
durch den Wald zum Fluß,
und das dunkle Wasser bebt
unter seinem Kuß.
Hörst du, Herz die Welle lallt:
küsse, küsse mich!
Und mit zaghafter Gewalt,
Mädchen, küsse, ich dich.

Nocturnal timidity

Timorously from the cloud-bank flows
the stream of light into the countryside
out of the moon’s pale hand,
subduing all my fire.
A stray glimmer floats
through the forest to the river,
and the dark water quivers
beneath its kiss.
Do you hear, O heart? The waves murmur:
‘kiss, kiss me!’
And with timorous might
I kiss you, my girl.
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Anton Friedrich Wilhelm Webern was an Austrian composer and conductor.

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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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