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Songs

Mignons Klage ('Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt')

by Josephine Lang From Sechs Lieder (1882) Op. 10

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Text & Translation

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Mignons Klage ('Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt')
German source: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt
Weiss, was ich leide!
Allein und abgetrennt
Von aller Freude,
Seh’ ich an’s Firmament
Nach jener Seite.
Ach! der mich liebt und kennt
Ist in der Weite.
Es schwindelt mir, es brennt
Mein Eingeweide.
Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt
Weiss, was ich leide!

Mignon's Lament ('Only he who knows longing')
English translation © Richard Stokes

Only he who knows longing
knows what I suffer.
Alone, cut off
from all joy,
I gaze at the firmament
in that direction.
Ah, he who loves and knows me
is far away.
I feel giddy,
my vitals are aflame.
Only he who knows longing
knows what I suffer.

Mignons Klage ('Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt')
German source: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Mignon's Lament ('Only he who knows longing')
English source: Richard Stokes

Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt
Only he who knows longing
Weiss, was ich leide!
knows what I suffer.
Allein und abgetrennt
Alone, cut off
Von aller Freude,
from all joy,
Seh’ ich an’s Firmament
I gaze at the firmament
Nach jener Seite.
in that direction.
Ach! der mich liebt und kennt
Ah, he who loves and knows me
Ist in der Weite.
is far away.
Es schwindelt mir, es brennt
I feel giddy,
Mein Eingeweide.
my vitals are aflame.
Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt
Only he who knows longing
Weiss, was ich leide!
knows what I suffer.

Composer

Josephine Lang

Josephine Lang (1815-1880) was a much-respected song composer, inspiring early biographies by her contemporary Ferdinand Hiller and son Heinrich Köstlin. Her family included many professional musicians. Initially taught by her mother, the opera…

Poet

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang Goethe was a German writer and statesman. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on…

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