A. Berg – Seven early songs (English version)

1. Night

The clouds embrown the night and valley;
the mists float above, the water rushing gently.
Now all at once they unveil themselves:
o listen! pay heed!
A broad land of wonder has opened up.
Silver mountains rise up, fantastically huge,
quiet paths lit with silver [lead] toward the valley
from [some] hidden place;
and the noble world is so dreamily pure.
A mute beech stands by the path,
black with shadows; a breeze from a distant, lonely grove
wafts gently by.
And from the deep darkness of the valley
flash lights in the silent night.
Drink, my soul! Drink in this solitude!
O listen! pay heed!
.

2. Along a secret forest path

Along a secret forest path
I like to creep in the evening light;
I go to the desolate, reedy banks,
and think, my maiden, of you!

As the bushes grow dark,
the reeds hiss mysteriously,
and lament and whisper,
and thus I have to weep and weep.

And I think that I hear wafting
the gentle sound of your voice,
and down into the pond sinks
your lovely song.
.

3. It happened because the nightingale

It happened because the nightingale
sang the whole night long;
from her sweet call,
from the echo and re-echo,
roses have sprung up.

She was but recently a wild blossom,
and now she walks, deep in thought;
she carries her summer hat in her hand,
enduring quietly the heat of the sun,
knowing not what to begin.

It happened because the nightingale
sang the whole night long;
from her sweet call,
from the echo and re-echo,
roses have sprung up.
.

4. Crowned in a dream

That was the day of the white chrysanthemums,
I was almost intimidated by its glory…
And then, then you came to take my soul
deep in the night.
I was so worried, and you came so lovingly and quietly,
I had just thought of you in a dream.
You came, and softly the night resounded
like a fairy tale song.
.

5. In the chamber

Autumn sunlight.
The lovely evening peers so quietly in.
A little red fire
crackles in the stove and flares up.
And with my head upon your knee,
I am contented.
When my eyes rest in yours,
how gently do the minutes pass!
.

6. In the arms of love we fell blissfully asleep

In the arms of love we fell blissfully asleep;
at the open window the summer wind listened
and carried the peacefulness of our breath
out into the bright, moonlit night.
And out of the garden, feeling its way randomly,
the scent of roses came to our bed of love
and gave us wonderful dreams,
dreams of intoxication, rich with yearning.
.

7. Summer days

Now the days drag through the world,
sent forth from blue eternity;
time dissipates in the summer wind.
Now at night the Lord weaves
with blessed hand wreaths of stars
above the wandering wonderland.
In these days, o my heart, what can
your brightest wanderer’s song then say
about your deep, deep pleasure?
In meadowsong the heart falls silent;
now there are no words, and image upon image
visits you and fills you entirely.

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