Friedrich von Sallet: “Nightingale and Rose”
Excerpt, “Gems of German Lyrics: Consisting of Selections from Ruckert, Lenau, Chamisso, Freiligrath and Others.” Translated into English Verse by Henry D. Wireman. 1869.
NIGHTINGALE AND ROSE
Sang with sweetness in the vale,
Thus, the pretty Nightingale:–
“Oh, so fair and wondrous sweet
Art thou, Rose, in thy retreat!
I, in what my heart abounds,
Must pour out in fleeting sounds,
Which are borne with mighty sway
On the wings of zephyrs light;
Soon are they
In their flight.
Oh, that I, what will not stay,
Only could in form array!
Never then should cease, as now,
Sounds which swell this heart of mine:
They should shine
Bright as thou,
Every note a leaf or spray,
Every song a rose of May!
Therefore, Rose, I love but thee
Rose then, wafting fragrance pure,
Softly whispered, shy, demure:–
“Oh, how sweetly, Nightingale,
Singest thou o’er hill and dale!
That which fills me with delight,
That which makes me glow so bright,
Gently through the zephyr sighs,
’Twill not stay,
Soon it dies.
What is born without a tone,
Soon forgotten, hardly known,
What my heart to please is fain:–
Could I loud and clear it sing,
It should ring,
Like thy strain,
Fragrance—song of Nightingale
Warbling over hill and dale!
Nightingale, I love but thee