Songs

Ständchen

by Franz Schubert

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Ständchen
German source: Franz Grillparzer

Zögernd leise
In des Dunkels nächt’ger Hülle
Sind wir hier;
Und den Finger sanft gekrümmt,
Leise, leise,
Pochen wir
An des Liebchens Kammerthür.

Doch nun steigend,
Schwellend, schwellend, hebend,
Mit vereinter Stimme, Laut
Rufen aus wir hochvertraut:
Schlaf du nicht,
Wenn der Neigung Stimme spricht!

Sucht’ ein Weiser nah und ferne
Menschen einst mit der Laterne;
Wieviel seltner dann als Gold
Menschen, uns geneigt und hold?
Drum, wenn Freundschaft, Liebe spricht,
Freundin, Liebchen, schlaf du nicht!

Aber was in allen Reichen
Wär’ dem Schlummer zu vergleichen?
Drum statt Worten und statt Gaben
Sollst du nun auch Ruhe haben.
Noch ein Grüsschen, noch ein Wort,
Es verstummt dir frohe Weise,
Leise, leise,
Schleichen wir, ja, schleichen wir uns wieder fort!

Softly, hesitantly
English translation © Richard Wigmore

Softly, hesitantly,
cloaked in night’s darkness,
we have come here;
and with fingers gently curled,
softly, softly
we knock
on the beloved’s bedroom door.

But now, our emotion rising,
swelling,
surging, with united voice
we call out loud, in warm friendship:
‘Do not sleep
when the voice of affection speaks.’

Once a wise man with his lantern
sought people near and far;
how much rarer, then, than gold
are people who are fondly disposed to us?
And so, when friendship and love speak,
do not sleep, friend, beloved!

But what in all the world’s realms
can be compared to sleep?
And so, instead of words and gifts,
you shall now have rest.
Just one more greeting, one more word,
and our happy song ceases;
softly, softly
we steal away again.

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

Ständchen
German source: Franz Grillparzer

Softly, hesitantly
English source: Richard Wigmore

Zögernd leise
Softly, hesitantly,
In des Dunkels nächt’ger Hülle
cloaked in night’s darkness,
Sind wir hier;
we have come here;
Und den Finger sanft gekrümmt,
and with fingers gently curled,
Leise, leise,
softly, softly
Pochen wir
we knock
An des Liebchens Kammerthür.
on the beloved’s bedroom door.

Doch nun steigend,
But now, our emotion rising,
Schwellend, schwellend, hebend,
swelling,
Mit vereinter Stimme, Laut
surging, with united voice
Rufen aus wir hochvertraut:
we call out loud, in warm friendship:
Schlaf du nicht,
‘Do not sleep
Wenn der Neigung Stimme spricht!
when the voice of affection speaks.’

Sucht’ ein Weiser nah und ferne
Once a wise man with his lantern
Menschen einst mit der Laterne;
sought people near and far;
Wieviel seltner dann als Gold
how much rarer, then, than gold
Menschen, uns geneigt und hold?
are people who are fondly disposed to us?
Drum, wenn Freundschaft, Liebe spricht,
And so, when friendship and love speak,
Freundin, Liebchen, schlaf du nicht!
do not sleep, friend, beloved!

Aber was in allen Reichen
But what in all the world’s realms
Wär’ dem Schlummer zu vergleichen?
can be compared to sleep?
Drum statt Worten und statt Gaben
And so, instead of words and gifts,
Sollst du nun auch Ruhe haben.
you shall now have rest.
Noch ein Grüsschen, noch ein Wort,
Just one more greeting, one more word,
Es verstummt dir frohe Weise,
and our happy song ceases;
Leise, leise,
softly, softly
Schleichen wir, ja, schleichen wir uns wieder fort!
we steal away again.

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

Franz Grillparzer

Franz Grillparzer was one of Schubert's most famous and celebrated contemporaries. His plays still hold the stage, particularly in his native Austria. Like Schubert, he was born in Vienna, but unlike the composer he moved in a milieu of…

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