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Songs

Es stehen unbeweglich

by Heinrich Heine From Lyrisches Intermezzo (1823) 1822-1823

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Text & Translation

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Es stehen unbeweglich
German source: Heinrich Heine

Es stehen unbeweglich
Die Sterne in der Höh,
Viel tausend Jahr, und schauen
Sich an mit Liebesweh.

Sie sprechen eine Sprache,
Die ist so reich, so schön;
Doch keiner der Philologen
Kann diese Sprache verstehn.

Ich aber hab sie gelernet,
Und ich vergesse sie nicht;
Mir diente als Grammatik
Der Herzallerliebsten Gesicht.

They twinkle in fixed places
English translation © Hal Draper

They twinkle in fixed places,
The stars in heaven above;
They gaze at each other for ages,
Yearning and aching with love.

They speak a beautiful language
That is so rich, so grand,
Not one of the learned professors
Can hope to understand.

And yet my heart has learned it
And will not forget its grace;
The grammar book I studied
Was my beloved’s face.

Translations by Hal Draper published by Oxford University Press and Suhrkamp/Insel Verlag (1984)

Es stehen unbeweglich
German source: Heinrich Heine

They twinkle in fixed places
English source: Hal Draper

Es stehen unbeweglich
They twinkle in fixed places,
Die Sterne in der Höh,
The stars in heaven above;
Viel tausend Jahr, und schauen
They gaze at each other for ages,
Sich an mit Liebesweh.
Yearning and aching with love.

Sie sprechen eine Sprache,
They speak a beautiful language
Die ist so reich, so schön;
That is so rich, so grand,
Doch keiner der Philologen
Not one of the learned professors
Kann diese Sprache verstehn.
Can hope to understand.

Ich aber hab sie gelernet,
And yet my heart has learned it
Und ich vergesse sie nicht;
And will not forget its grace;
Mir diente als Grammatik
The grammar book I studied
Der Herzallerliebsten Gesicht.
Was my beloved’s face.

Composer

Poet

Heinrich Heine

Heine was born of Jewish parents. Much of his early life was influenced by the financial power of his uncle Salomon Heine, a millionaire Hamburg banker, with whom he remained on an awkward footing for many years. After he had been educated in the…

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