Love Songs, Op. 83, B160 | Text
translation: David Beveridge
I. Oh, that longed-for happiness does not bloom for our love
Oh, that longed-for happiness
does not bloom for our love;
and if it would bloom, in this world
it would not bloom for long.
Why would a tear
steal into fiery kisses?
Why would you embrace me
in your full love with anxiety?
Oh, bitter is that parting
where hope does not beckon:
the heart then feels, trembling,
that soon in misery it will die.
II. So many a heart is as though dead
So many a heart is as though dead,
as in a dark wasteland;
yea, only for grief and for pain
does it have room.
Then delusions of burning love
enter into that heart,
and the heart, yearning in misery,
believes that it loves.
And in this sweet belief
the dead heart once again
transforms itself into a paradise
and sings the old tale!
III. Around the house now I stagger
Around the house now I stagger
where you used to live,
and from the wound of love I bleed,
of that love sweet, deceitful!
And with a sad eye I watch
whether you step toward me:
and toward you my arms I open,
but a tear I feel in my eye!
Oh where are you, dear one, where are you today?
Won’t you come toward me?
Am I not, with delight and joy in my heart,
to behold you ever again?
IV. I know that in sweet hope
I know that in sweet hope
I may love you after all,
and that you want to nurture
my love all the more fervently.
And still, when I look into your eyes,
into that blissful night,
and learn how love’s heaven
brings down its power from them upon me,
then my eye suddenly
clouds with tears,
for in our happiness, behind us
evil fate is watching!
V. Over the countryside reigns a light sleep
Over the countryside reigns a light sleep;
clear has stretched out the May night.
A shy breeze steals into the leaves;
from heaven has bent down the realm of peace.
The flowers have dozed; in the brook murmurs
more quietly the chorus of mysterious songs.
Nature, in delight, blissfully meditates;
everywhere the squabble of restless elements has fallen silent.
The stars have come together like lights of hope;
earth is changing into a celestial sphere.
Through my heart, in which once bliss bloomed,
through my heart spreads only the turmoil of pains!
VI. Here in the forest by a brook
Here in the forest by a brook
I stand alone, all alone,
and into the brook’s waves
in thoughts I gaze.
Then I see an old stone,
over which the waves rage;
that stone rises and falls
without rest under a wave.
And the current presses on it
until the stone overturns.
When will the wave of life
carry me away from the world?
VII. In that sweet power of your eyes
In that sweet power of your eyes
how gladly would I die,
if only the laughter of lovely
lips did not beckon me to life.
But I'll choose that sweet death at once
with that love in my breast,
if only those smiling lips of yours
will awaken me to life.
VIII. Oh dear soul, the only one
Oh dear soul, the only one
that still lives in my heart:
my thought hovers about you,
though evil fate separates us.
Oh, were I a singing swan,
I'd fly to you
and in my final sighing would
sing out my heart to you, swooning.