Category Archives: Hugo Wolf

Eichendorff: Verschwiegene Liebe

Josef Karl Benedikt von Eichendorff (1788-1857)

By Hugo Wolf (1860-1903), “Verschwiegene Liebe” 1886-8, Eichendorff Lieder, no. 3.Translation © Emily Ezust, Lied & Art Song Texts Page.
Verschwiegene Liebe.

Silent Love

Over treetops and corn
And into the splendor –
Who may guess them,
Who may catch up with them?
Thoughts sway,
The Night is mute;
Thoughts run free.

Only one guesses,
One who has thought of her
By the rustling of the grove,
When no one was watching any longer
Except the clouds that flew by –
My love is silent
And as fair as the Night.


Eichendorff: “Night is Like a Quiet Sea”

Josef Karl Benedikt von Eichendorff (1788-1857)

by Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel (1805-1847) “Nacht ist wie ein stilles Meer,” 1846 Hugo Wolf (1860-1903), “Die Nacht”, Eichendorff Lieder, no. 19.Translation © Emily Ezust, Lied & Art Song Texts Page.


Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel


Nacht ist wie ein stilles Meer

Night is like a quiet sea:
joy and sorrow and the laments of love
become tangled up
in the gentle throbbing of the waves.
Desires are like clouds
that sail through the quiet space:
who can recognize in the mild wind
whether they are thoughts or dreams?
Even if my heart and mouth now are closed,
that once so easily lamented to the stars,
still, at the bottom of my heart
there remains the gentle throbbing of those waves.
Moonrise by the Sea
Caspar David FRIEDRICH
c. 1822


Robert Reinick: “Song of the Apprentice”

By Robert Reinick (1805-1852). Set by Hugo Wolf (1860-1903), “Gesellenlied”, from 9 Reinick-Lieder, no. 7. Translation © Emily Ezust, Lied and Art Song Text Page.


Masters do not fall from the sky!
And that's a piece of luck, too!
for already there are too many masters here;
if another bunch were to fall from the sky,
how bruised we apprentices would get
by all of them,
despite our masterpieces!

Masters do not fall from the sky!
Praise God, neither do masters' wives!
Ah, dear heaven, be so kind,
if up there one is grumbling,
keep her in mercy
so that she doesn't
come down to earth to shame us!

Masters do not fall from the sky!
Nor do masters' daughters!
A very long time have I known this,
and yet, what a joy that would be,
if, young and pretty and merry,
such a maiden were to come down,
and be my true love!

Masters do not fall from the sky!
That is my comfort in this world;
and so I intend to be a master myself,
and if I am gifted with a wife,
then this earth shall be
a heaven to me,
from which no master will fall.

Eduard Mörike: “The Fire-Rider”

By Eduard Mörike (1804-1875) Set by Hugo Wolf (1860-1903) , “Der Feuerreiter”, from Mörike-Lieder, no. 44. Translation © by Emily Ezust, from The Lied & Art Song Texts Page.

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Der Feuerreiter

Do you see at the window
there again, that red cap?
Something must be the matter
for it is going up and down.
And what a sudden mob
is now by the bridge near the field!
Hark! the fire-bell is shrilling:
beyond the hill,
beyond the hill,
there's a fire in the mill!
Look, there he goes, galloping furiously
through the gate - it's the fire-rider
on his horse, a bony nag
like a fire-ladder!
Across the fields, through the smoke and heat
he plunges, and he's already reached his goal!
Over there the bells are pealing,
beyond the hill,
beyond the hill,
there's a fire in the mill!
You who so often smelled fire
from a mile off,
and with a fragment of the holy cross
maliciously conjured the blaze -
Woe! from the rafters there grins
the Enemy of Man in hellish light.

May God have mercy on your soul!
Beyond the hill,
beyond the hill,
he is raging in the mill!
Not an hour had passed
before the mill was reduced to rubble;
but the bold rider
from that hour was never seen again.
People and wagons in crowds
turn toward home away from all the horror;
and the bell stops ringing:
beyond the hill,
beyond the hill,
it's burning!
Later a miller found
a skeleton together with the cap
upright against the wall of the cellar
sitting on the mare of bone:
Fire-rider, how coolly
you ride now to your grave!
Hush! there it falls to ashes.
Rest well,
rest well,
down there in the mill!

Goethe: “The Rat-Catcher”

By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832). Set by by Hugo Wolf (1860-1903) , “Der Rattenfänger”, from Goethe-Lieder, no. 11. Translation © Emily Ezust, from The Lied & Art Song Texts Page.


Der Rattenfänger

I am the well-known singer,
the widely-travelled rat-catcher,
of whom this old, famous city
certainly has an especial need.

And even if the rats are very numerous,
and even if there are weasels in the picture,
of each and every one I'll clear this place;
they must all go away.

Then also, this well-disposed singer
is from time to time a child-catcher,
who can capture even the wildest
when he sings golden fairy tales.

And even if the boys are defiant,
and even if the girls are startled,
I pluck my strings
and each and every one must follow.

Then also, this many-skilled singer
occasionally is a maiden-catcher;
in no town does he stay
where he does not bewitch many.

And even if the maidens are shy,
and even if the women are prim,
each and every one becomes lovestruck
from his magical strings and songs.

Eichendorff: “I travel silently…”

By Josef Karl Benedikt von Eichendorff (1788-1857) from “Gedichte (Ausgabe 1841)” in Wanderlieder, in Der verliebte Reisende, no 1.Set by Hugo Wolf (1860-1903), “In der Fremde I”, 1881.Translation © Emily Ezust, Lied & Art Song Texts Page.

Da fahr’ ich still im Wagen

I travel silently in the coach -
you are so far from me -
but wherever it might take me,
I remain still with you.
There fly by forests, gorges
and lovely deep valleys,
and larks high in the sky,
as if your voice were calling.
The sun shines merrily
far beyond the area;
I am so happy and so tearful,
and I sing silently inside.
From the mountains, the path goes downward,
the posthorn rings out below;
my soul grows so cheerful
and I greet you from the bottom of my heart.


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