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Das Paradies (1997)

Part of a series or song cycle:

Six Songs from the Arabian (Sechs Gesänge aus dem Arabischen)

Das Paradies

Komm, daß ich dich fasse, reich mir deine Hand,
und dich nicht mehr lasse, reich mir deine Hand!
Sieh die Finsternis, die meine Zeit bedroht,
in der dunklen Gasse reiche mir die Hand!
Von des Schicksals Schlusse ward mir Arges kund –
in schwindelnden Höhen – reich mir die Hand!
Meiner Erden Reise ist bedroht vom Feind:
wehre seinem Hasse, reiche mir die Hand!
Komm, daß ich sie presse an mein Herz, das brennt,
an dies Aug, das nasse, lege deine Hand!
Auf zu deinem Schlosse klimm ich, holder Mond,
daß ich dir erblasse, komm, komm, reiche mir die Hand.
Text by Hafis, trans. Friedrich Rückert


Come, let me clasp you, give me your hand,
and that I nevermore leave you, give me your hand.
Behold the darkness that threatens my days,
in the dark alleyway give me your hand!
I have heard wicked things about destiny’s end –
on vertiginous heights – give me your hand!
My journey on earth is threatened by the foe:
avert his hatred, give me your hand!
Come, let me press it to my heart on fire,
lay your hand on these eyes, these tearful eyes!
I clamber up to your castle, fair moon,
let me pale before you, come, come, give me your hand.

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Hans Werner Henze (1926 – 2012) was a German composer. His large oeuvre of works is extremely varied in style, having been influenced by serialism, atonality, Stravinsky, Italian music, Arabic music and jazz, as well as traditional schools of German composition.

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