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The LiederNet Archive
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Der Zwerg

Language: German (Deutsch)

Im trüben Licht verschwinden schon die Berge,
Es schwebt das Schiff auf glatten Meereswogen,
Worauf die Königin mit ihrem Zwerge.

Sie schaut empor zum hochgewölbten Bogen,
Hinauf zur lichtdurchwirkten blauen Ferne;
Die mit der Milch des Himmels [blau]1 durchzogen.

"Nie, nie habt ihr mir gelogen noch, ihr Sterne,"
So ruft sie aus, "bald werd' ich nun entschwinden,
Ihr sagt es mir, doch sterb' ich wahrlich gerne."

Da tritt der Zwerg zur Königin, mag binden
Um ihren Hals die Schnur von roter Seide,
Und weint, als wollt' er schnell vor Gram erblinden.

Er spricht: "Du selbst bist schuld an diesem Leide
Weil um den König du mich hast verlassen,
Jetzt weckt dein Sterben einzig mir noch Freude.

"Zwar werd' ich ewiglich mich selber haßen,
Der dir mit dieser Hand den Tod gegeben,
Doch mußt zum frühen Grab du nun erblassen."

Sie legt die Hand aufs Herz voll jungem Leben,
Und aus dem Aug' die schweren Tränen rinnen,
Das sie zum Himmel betend will erheben.

"Mögst du nicht Schmerz durch meinen Tod gewinnen!"
Sie sagt's; da küßt der Zwerg die bleichen Wangen,
D'rauf alsobald vergehen ihr die Sinnen.

Der Zwerg schaut an die Frau, von Tod befangen,
Er senkt sie tief ins Meer mit eig'nen Händen,
Ihm brennt nach ihr das Herz so voll Verlangen,
An keiner Küste wird er je mehr landen.

Translation(s): ENG DUT ITA FRE NOR HEB

View original text (without footnotes)
1 In Peters: "blass"


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):
    * ENG English (Emily Ezust) , title 1: "The dwarf", copyright ©
    * DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , title 1: "De dwerg", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
    * ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , title 1: "Il nano", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
    * FRE French (Français) (Cécile Bellon) , title 1: "Le nain", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
    * NOR Norwegian (Bokmål) (Marianne Beate Kielland) , title 1: "Dvergen", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
    * HEB Hebrew (עברית) (Max Mader) , title 1: "הגמד", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Notes about what "text verified" means can be found here.

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The dwarf

Language: English

Into the gloomy light, the mountains are already disappearing
On flat sea waves floats a boat:
on board are the queen and her dwarf.

She gazes up into the high-arched vault,
into the blue, light-woven distance
that with the milk of the sky is streaked blue.

"Never, never have you lied to me yet, you stars."
So she cries, "and soon I will vanish,
you tell me; but in truth, I will die gladly."

Then the dwarf steps up to the queen
to bind a red silk cord around her neck,
and he weeps as if he wanted to blind himself with grief.

He speaks: "You yourself are to blame for this suffering
because you have forsaken me for the king.
Now only your death will awaken joy in me.

"It is true I will hate myself forever
for having bestowed death on you with my own hand;
but now, pale, you must go to your early grave."

She lays her hand on her heart full of youthful life,
and heavy tears run from her eyes
that she would lift imploringly to the heavens.

"May you suffer no pain through my death!"
she says; the dwarf kisses her pale cheeks
and in that moment her senses leave her.

The dwarf gazes at the lady, overcome with death,
and sinks her deep into the sea with his own hands.
His heart burns with desire for her;
upon no coast will he ever land again.

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    * Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust,

    (emily at lieder dot net)

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive -- http://www.lieder.net/

    For any other purpose, please write to the above e-mail address to request permission and discuss possible fees.

Based on

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.