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Songs

An Emma

by Franz Schubert

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Text & Translation

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An Emma
German source: Friedrich von Schiller

Weit in nebelgrauer Ferne
Liegt mir das vergang’ne Glück,
Nur an Einem schönen Sterne
Weilt mit Liebe noch der Blick.
Aber, wie des Sternes Pracht,
Ist es nur ein Schein der Nacht.

Deckte dir der lange Schlummer,
Dir der Tod die Augen zu,
Dich besässe doch mein Kummer,
Meinem Herzen lebtest du.
Aber ach! du lebst im Licht,
Meiner Liebe lebst du nicht.

Kann der Liebe süss Verlangen,
Emma, kann’s vergänglich sein?
Was dahin ist und vergangen,
Emma, kann’s die Liebe sein?
Ihrer Flamme Himmelsglut
Stirbt sie, wie ein irdisch Gut?

To Emma
English translation © Richard Wigmore

Far in the grey, misty distance
lies my past happiness.
My eyes still linger lovingly
on one fair star alone.
But, like that star’s splendour,
it is merely an illusion of the night.

If the prolonged slumber
of death closed your eyes
my sorrow would still possess you;
you would live in my heart.
But, alas, you live in the light
yet you do not live for my love.

Emma, can love’s sweet longing
pass away?
That which is over and past, Emma,
can that be love?
Does the celestial ardour of its flame
perish like worldly goods?

Translations by Richard Wigmore first published by Gollancz and reprinted in the Hyperion Schubert Song Edition

An Emma
German source: Friedrich von Schiller

To Emma
English source: Richard Wigmore

Weit in nebelgrauer Ferne
Far in the grey, misty distance
Liegt mir das vergang’ne Glück,
lies my past happiness.
Nur an Einem schönen Sterne
My eyes still linger lovingly
Weilt mit Liebe noch der Blick.
on one fair star alone.
Aber, wie des Sternes Pracht,
But, like that star’s splendour,
Ist es nur ein Schein der Nacht.
it is merely an illusion of the night.

Deckte dir der lange Schlummer,
If the prolonged slumber
Dir der Tod die Augen zu,
of death closed your eyes
Dich besässe doch mein Kummer,
my sorrow would still possess you;
Meinem Herzen lebtest du.
you would live in my heart.
Aber ach! du lebst im Licht,
But, alas, you live in the light
Meiner Liebe lebst du nicht.
yet you do not live for my love.

Kann der Liebe süss Verlangen,
Emma, can love’s sweet longing
Emma, kann’s vergänglich sein?
pass away?
Was dahin ist und vergangen,
That which is over and past, Emma,
Emma, kann’s die Liebe sein?
can that be love?
Ihrer Flamme Himmelsglut
Does the celestial ardour of its flame
Stirbt sie, wie ein irdisch Gut?
perish like worldly goods?

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

Friedrich von Schiller

Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller was a German poet, philosopher, physician, historian, and playwright. During the last seventeen years of his life (1788–1805), Schiller struck up a productive, if complicated, friendship with the already…

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