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Songs

Wo ich bin, mich rings umdunkelt

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

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Text & Translation

View IPA

Wo ich bin, mich rings umdunkelt
German source: Heinrich Heine

Wo ich bin, mich rings umdunkelt
Finsternis, so dumpf und dicht,
Seit mir nicht mehr leuchtend funkelt,
Liebste, deiner Augen Licht.

Mir erloschen ist der süßen
Liebessterne goldne Pracht,
Abgrund gähnt zu meinen Füßen -
Nimm mich auf, uralte Nacht!

Where I am, dark shades benight me
English translation © Hal Draper

Where I am, dark shades benight me,
Musty blackness round me lies,
Since, my love, you no more light me
With the lightning of your eyes.

Love’s own star in splendour dies, –
Black is the pit before my sight,
Gone is the sun from out the skies –
Take me, O eternal Night!

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

Wo ich bin, mich rings umdunkelt
German source: Heinrich Heine

Where I am, dark shades benight me
English source: Hal Draper

Wo ich bin, mich rings umdunkelt
Where I am, dark shades benight me,
Finsternis, so dumpf und dicht,
Musty blackness round me lies,
Seit mir nicht mehr leuchtend funkelt,
Since, my love, you no more light me
Liebste, deiner Augen Licht.
With the lightning of your eyes.

Mir erloschen ist der süßen
Love’s own star in splendour dies, –
Liebessterne goldne Pracht,
Black is the pit before my sight,
Abgrund gähnt zu meinen Füßen -
Gone is the sun from out the skies –
Nimm mich auf, uralte Nacht!
Take me, O eternal Night!

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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