Liederkreis Op.39 – English version

In a Foreign Land

From the direction of home, behind the red flashes of lightning
There come clouds,
But Father and Mother are long dead;
No one there knows me anymore.

How soon, ah, how soon will that quiet time come,
When I too shall rest, and over me
the beautiful forest’s loneliness shall rustle,
And no one here shall know me anymore.


Your blissful, wonderful image
I have in my heart’s depths;
it looks so freshly and joyously
at me in every moment.

My heart sings mutely to itself
an old, beautiful song
that soars into the air
and hastens to your side.

Conversation in the wood

It is already late, it is already cold;
why do you ride alone through the wood?
The wood is vast and you are alone,
you fair bride! I will lead you home.

“Great are the deceit and cunning of men;
my heart has broken for pain.
The forest horn strays here and there,
o flee! You do not know who I am.”

So richly decked are mount and lady,
so wondrously fair the young form;
now I recognize you – God stand by me!
You are the Witch Loreley.

“You recognize me well – from the lofty cliffs
my castle gazes down into the Rhine.
It is already late, it is already cold –
you shall never again leave this wood.”


No one knows or guesses
how glad I am, so glad!
Alas, if only one could know it, just one –
no other soul should know it!

The snow outside is not so quiet –
nor as mute and silent
are the lofty stars,
compared with my thoughts.

I wish it were morning already;
up would fly two larks,
flying over each other,
and my heart would follow their course.

I wish I were a little bird –
I would fly over the sea,
well across the sea and farther,
until I were in heaven!


It was as if the sky
Had quietly kissed the earth,
So that in a shower of blossoms
She must only dream of him.

The breeze wafted through the fields,
The ears of corn waved gently,
The forests rustled faintly,
So sparkling clear was the night.

And my soul stretched
its wings out far,
Flew through the still lands,
as if it were flying home.

Beauteus Foreign Land

The treetops rustle and shiver
as if at this hour
about the half-sunken walls
the old gods are making their rounds.

Here, behind the myrtle trees,
in secretly darkening splendor,
what do you say so murmuringly, as if in a dream,
to me, fantastic night?

The stars glitter down on me
with glowing, loving gazes,
and the distance speaks tipsily,
it seems, of great future happiness.

In a Castle

Asleep on his watch
up there is the old knight;
above move rainshowers,
and the wood rustles through the grill.

Beard and hair grown into one,
chest and ruff have turned to stone;
he sits for many hundreds of years
above in his silent den.

Outside it is quiet and peaceful:
all have taken to the valley;
woodbirds sing alone
in the empty arching windows.

A wedding passes by below
on the Rhine, in the sunlight:
musicians play gaily
and the fair bride – she weeps.

In a Foreign Land

I hear the brooklets rushing
here and there in the wood.
In the wood, amidst the rushing,
I know not where I am.

The nightingales sing
here in the solitude,
as if they wanted to speak
of fine old times.

The moonbeams dart
and I seem to see below me
a castle lying in the valley –
yet it is so far from here!

It seems as if, in the garden
full of roses white and red,
my sweetheart were waiting for me –
yet she is long since dead.


Sometimes I can sing
as if I were happy,
but secretly tears well up
and free my heart.

The nightingales,
when spring breezes play, let
their songs of yearning resound
from the depths of their dungeons.

Then all hearts listen
and everyone rejoices;
yet no one truly feels the anguish
of the song’s deep sorrow.


Dusk prepares to spread its wings,
the trees rustle ominously,
clouds approach like heavy dreams –
what does this horror mean?

If you have a favorite roe,
don’t let it graze alone;
hunters roam the forest, sounding their horns,
their voices straying time and again.

If you have a friend on earth,
do not trust him in this hour;
friendly might he seem in eye and mouth,
yet he plans for war in deceitful peace.

What today goes wearily down,
will lift itself tomorrow newly born.
Much goes astray at night –
beware – be alert and wide awake!

In the woods

Beside the mountain there passed a wedding party.
I heard the birds singing;
then there blazed past many horsemen, their forest horns sounding.
That was a merry hunt!

And before I could think about it, everything had died away
and the night threw a cloak all around.
Only from the mountains did the woods yet rustle,
and deep in my heart I shudder.


Above the garden and across the sky
I heard migrating birds passing;
that meant that spring was in the air;
below, things are already beginning to bloom.

I could rejoice, I could weep –
I feel as though it cannot be!
Old wonders appear again
with the moonlight.

And the moon and stars say it,
and in a dream the grove murmurs it,
and the nightingales sing it:
she is yours! She is yours!


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