Texts & Translations

G.F. Handel (1685-1759): Rejoice Greatly (Messiah)

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion. Rejoice, O daughter of Jerusalem. Behold, thy King cometh unto thee. He is the righteous Savior, and he shall speak peace unto the heathen. (from Zechariah 9:9-10)

J.S. Bach (1685-1750): Quia respexit

Quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae

Ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dixent omnes generationes.

Claude Debussy (1862-1918): Green

Voici des fruits, des fleurs, des feuilles et des branches

Et puis voici mon cœur qui ne bat que pour vous.

Ne le déchirez pas avec vos deux mains blanches

Et qu’vos yeux si beaux l’humble présent soit doux.

 

J’arrive tout couvert encore de rosée

Que le vent du matin vient glacer à mon front.

Souffrez que ma fatigue, à vos pieds reposée,

Rêve des chers instants qui la délasseront.   

 

Sur votre jeune sein laissez rouler ma tête    

Toute sonore encore de vos derniers baisers;

Laissez-la s’apaiser de la bonne tempête,     

Et que je dorme un peu puisque vous reposez.

- Paul Verlaine (1844–1896)

from the Magnificat – Song of Mary

For he hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden

Behold, all generations shall call me blessed.

 - Traditional

Green (from Watercolor Paintings)

Here are some fruits, flowers, leaves, and branches,

And then here is my heart, that only beats for you.

Don’t tear them up with your white hands –

They are a sweet humble gift for your beautiful eyes.

 

I’m coming back covered again with dew

That the morning wind sent onto my forehead.

Be patient with my tiredness as I rest at your feet,

Dreaming of a sweet time when I can relax with you.

 

Let me rest my head on your young breast,

Still echoing from the last time we kissed;

Let it be calmed from that sweet tempest,

And let me rest a little while you rest.

- trans. ©2016 Rachel Evangeline Barham

Franz Schubert (1797-1828): Am See

In des Sees Wogenspiele

Fallen durch den Sonnenschein

Sterne, ach, gar viele, viele,

Flammend leuchtend stets hinein.

Wenn der Mensch zum See geworden,

In der Seele Wogenspiele

Fallen aus des Himmels Pforten

Sterne, ach, gar viele, viele.

 - Franz Seraph Ritter von Bruchmann (1798-1867)

On the Lake

When the sun shines on the lake,

Stars – so many –

Fall through the sunshine and onto the playing waves,

Blazing and shining.

Likewise, when humans become like a lake,

Stars – so many –

Will fall out of heaven’s gates

Into the wave-play of the soul.

 - trans. ©2017 Rachel Evangeline Barham

© 2018 Rachel Evangeline Barham

  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Facebook