Please note our box office phone number is currently unavailable Please email boxoffice@oxfordsong.org for all enquiries

Songs

Litanei

by Arnold Schoenberg From String Quartet No.2 in F minor (1908) Op. 10

If you would like to use our texts and translations, please click here for more information.

Text & Translation

View IPA

Litanei
German source: Stefan George

Tief ist die trauer
die mich umdüstert,
Ein tret ich wieder
Herr! in dein haus …

Lang war die reise,
matt sind die glieder,
Leer sind die schreine,
voll nur die qual.

Durstende zunge
darbt nach dem weine.
Hart war gestritten,
starr ist mein arm.

Gönne die ruhe
schwankenden schritten,
Hungrigem gaume
bröckle dein brot!

Schwach ist mein atem
rufend dem trauma,
Hohl sind die hände,
fiebernd der mund . .

Leih deine kühle,
lösche die brände,
Tilge das hoffen,
sende das licht!

Gluten im herzen
lodern noch offen,
Innerst im grunde
wacht noch ein schrei . .

Töte das sehnen,
schliesse die wunde!
Nimm mir die liebe,
gieb mir dein glück!

Litany
English translation © Richard Stokes

Deep is the sorrow
that darkens around me,
Once more I enter,
Lord! thy house…

Long was the journey,
weary now the limbs.
Empty the altars,
full only the torment.

The parched tongue
longs for the wine.
Hard was the struggle,
numb is my arm.

Grant sweet repose
to faltering footsteps,
For hungry mouths
crumble your bread!

Weak is my breath
calling forth the dream,
Hands are empty,
feverish the mouth . .

Lend thy coolness,
quench the conflagration,
Cancel all hope,
vouchsafe the light!

Fires in the heart
still glow openly,
Deep within me
a cry is still awake . .

Kill all longing,
close the wound!
Take love from me.
give me thy joy!

Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

Litanei
German source: Stefan George

Litany
English source: Richard Stokes

Tief ist die trauer
Deep is the sorrow
die mich umdüstert,
that darkens around me,
Ein tret ich wieder
Once more I enter,
Herr! in dein haus …
Lord! thy house…

Lang war die reise,
Long was the journey,
matt sind die glieder,
weary now the limbs.
Leer sind die schreine,
Empty the altars,
voll nur die qual.
full only the torment.

Durstende zunge
The parched tongue
darbt nach dem weine.
longs for the wine.
Hart war gestritten,
Hard was the struggle,
starr ist mein arm.
numb is my arm.

Gönne die ruhe
Grant sweet repose
schwankenden schritten,
to faltering footsteps,
Hungrigem gaume
For hungry mouths
bröckle dein brot!
crumble your bread!

Schwach ist mein atem
Weak is my breath
rufend dem trauma,
calling forth the dream,
Hohl sind die hände,
Hands are empty,
fiebernd der mund . .
feverish the mouth . .

Leih deine kühle,
Lend thy coolness,
lösche die brände,
quench the conflagration,
Tilge das hoffen,
Cancel all hope,
sende das licht!
vouchsafe the light!

Gluten im herzen
Fires in the heart
lodern noch offen,
still glow openly,
Innerst im grunde
Deep within me
wacht noch ein schrei . .
a cry is still awake . .

Töte das sehnen,
Kill all longing,
schliesse die wunde!
close the wound!
Nimm mir die liebe,
Take love from me.
gieb mir dein glück!
give me thy joy!

Composer

Arnold Schoenberg

Arnold Franz Walter Schoenberg or Schönberg was an Austrian composer, music theorist, and painter. He was associated with the expressionist movement in German poetry and art, and leader of the Second Viennese School.

Poet

Stefan George

Stefan Anton George (12 July 1868 – 4 December 1933) was a German symbolist poet and a translator of Dante Alighieri, William Shakespeare, and Charles Baudelaire. Read more about his life here. Read some of his poetry here in the original…

Help us with a Donation

Enjoying our texts and translations? Help us continue to offer this service to all.

Make a Donation

Select Tickets