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Lied, mit thränen halbgeschrieben
Words by Joseph von Eichendorff.
Composed March 1861.
Unpublished.

The source of this song is a manuscript in the Pierpont Morgan Library Gilbert and Sullivan Collection and is included here by permission.



This song was composed during Sullivan's last weeks as a student at the Leipzig Conservatoire. The words are by Eichendorff, a poet much favoured by Schumann, and perhaps the young Sullivan is here trying to emulate the example of that composer's style.

The manuscript, now in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York is dated "March 1861". It is also inscribed, in German, with words which can be translated as "To remind you of your true friend, Arthur S. Sullivan." The recipient's name is not recorded, but it is tempting to speculate that it might have been Rosamond Barnett, the young lady with whom Sullivan had had a flirtation earlier in his time in Leipzig, and the dedicatee of another song with German lyrics which has survived from this time, Ich möchte hinaus es jauchzen for, also in March 1861, Sullivan wrote to her:

I have treated you badly, very badly, my dear Miss Rosamond, inasmuch as three months have elapsed, and I have not written to you once, but I know your kind and forgiving disposition (do you remember our little quarrels in days of yore?) and feel that you will not only rejoice over a repentant sinner, but will also write to me in return...

Karaoke File


Lied, mit Tränen halb geschrieben, O my tearful song, half written,
Dorthin über Berg und Kluft, Speed ye over dale and hill;
Wo die Liebste mein geblieben, May the gentle breezes bear you
Schwing dich durch die blaue Luft! Where my lover dwelleth still.

Ist sie rot und lustig, sage: If she's well and in good spirits,
Ich sei krank von Herzensgrund Of my broken heart, then, tell:
Weint sie nachts, sinnt still bei Tage If she mopes about forlorn,
Ja! dann sag: ich sei gesund! Say to her that I am well.

Ist vorbei ihr treues Lieben, If she loves me no longer,
Nun, so end auch Lust und Not, Then must end desire in dread,
Und zu allen, die mich lieben, And to all my friends and loved ones
Flieg und sage: ich sei tot! Fly, and say: I am dead.


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