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Des Liebsten Schwur (1877) Op. 69 no.4

Des Liebsten Schwur

Ei, schmollte mein Vater nicht wach und im Schlaf,
So sagt’ ich ihm, wen ich im Gärtelein traf.
Und schmolle nur, Vater, und schmolle nur fort,
Ich traf den Geliebten im Gärtelein dort.
Ei, zankte mein Vater nicht wieder sich ab,
So sagt’ ich ihm, was der Geliebte mir gab.
Und zanke nur, Vater, mein Väterchen du,
Er gab mir ein Küsschen und eines dazu.
Ei, klänge dem Vater nicht staunend das Ohr,
So sagt’ ich ihm, was der Geliebte mir schwor.
Und staune nur, Vater, und staune noch mehr,
Du gibst mich doch einmal mit Freuden noch her.
Mir schwor der Geliebte so fest und gewiss,
Bevor er aus meiner Umarmung sich riss:
Ich hätte am längsten zu Hause gesäumt,
Bis lustig im Felde die Weizensaat keimt.

The Lover's Vow

If my father would stop sulking, awake or asleep,
I’d tell him whom I met in the garden.
Sulk away, father, sulk away,
I met my beloved out there in the garden.
If my father would stop scolding,
I’d tell him what my beloved gave me.
Scold away, father, my dear father,
He gave me a kiss, and then another one.
If my father’s ears wouldn’t ring with surprise,
I’d tell him what my beloved promised.
Be surprised, my father, as surprised as you like,
You’ll be happy to give me away in the end.
My beloved promised me firmly and surely,
Before he tore himself from my embrace,
I’d only have to stay at home
Till the wheat ripened merrily in the field.
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Johannes Brahms (7 May 1833 – 3 April 1897) was a German composer, pianist, and conductor of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna. 

Brahms has been considered, by his contemporaries and by later writers, as both a traditionalist and an innovator. His music is firmly rooted in the structures and compositional techniques of the Classical masters. While many contemporaries found his music too academic, his contribution and craftsmanship have been admired by many. 

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