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Songs

An die Nachtigall

by Franz Schubert

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Text & Translation

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An die Nachtigall
German source: Ludwig Christoph Heinrich Hölty

Geuss nicht so laut der liebentflammten Lieder
Tonreichen Schall
Vom Blütenast des Apfelbaums hernieder
O Nachtigall!
Du tönest mir mit deiner süssen Kehle
Die Liebe wach;
Denn schon durchbebt die Tiefen meiner Seele 
Dein schmelzend „Ach“.

Dann flieht der Schlaf von neuem dieses Lager, 
Ich starre dann
Mit nassem Blick und totenbleich und hager 
Den Himmel an.
Fleuch, Nachtigall, in grüne Finsternisse, 
Ins Haingesträuch,
Und spend im Nest der treuen Gattin Küsse; 
Entfleuch, entfleuch!

To the Nightingale
English translation © Richard Wigmore

Do not pour out so loudly the sonorous strains
of passionate love-songs
from the blossom-covered boughs of the apple tree, 
O nightingale!
The singing from your sweet throat 
awakens love in me;
for already your melting sighs 
pierce the depths of my soul.

Then sleep once more shuns this bed, 
and I stare,
moist-eyed, drawn and deathly pale, 
at the heavens.
Fly away, nightingale, to the green darkness 
of the grove’s thickets, and in your nest 
bestow kisses on your faithful spouse.
Fly away!

An die Nachtigall
German source: Ludwig Christoph Heinrich Hölty

To the Nightingale
English source: Richard Wigmore

Geuss nicht so laut der liebentflammten Lieder
Do not pour out so loudly the sonorous strains
Tonreichen Schall
of passionate love-songs
Vom Blütenast des Apfelbaums hernieder
from the blossom-covered boughs of the apple tree, 
O Nachtigall!
O nightingale!
Du tönest mir mit deiner süssen Kehle
The singing from your sweet throat 
Die Liebe wach;
awakens love in me;
Denn schon durchbebt die Tiefen meiner Seele 
for already your melting sighs 
Dein schmelzend „Ach“.
pierce the depths of my soul.

Dann flieht der Schlaf von neuem dieses Lager, 
Then sleep once more shuns this bed, 
Ich starre dann
and I stare,
Mit nassem Blick und totenbleich und hager 
moist-eyed, drawn and deathly pale, 
Den Himmel an.
at the heavens.
Fleuch, Nachtigall, in grüne Finsternisse, 
Fly away, nightingale, to the green darkness 
Ins Haingesträuch,
of the grove’s thickets, and in your nest 
Und spend im Nest der treuen Gattin Küsse; 
bestow kisses on your faithful spouse.
Entfleuch, entfleuch!
Fly away!

Composer

Franz Schubert

Franz Peter Schubert was an late Classical and early Romantic composer. He produced a vast oeuvre during his short life, composing more the 600 vocal works (largely Lieder), and well as several symphonies, operas, and a large body of piano music. He…

Poet

Ludwig Christoph Heinrich Hölty

Ludwig Heinrich Christoph Hölty, was German poet who is considered the most gifted lyric poet of the Göttinger Hain, a group of young poets who saw themselves as heirs of the great lyric poet Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock and whose work was…

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