Six Romances Op. 8 (1893)Sergei Rachmaninov
The water lily, her head Raised, looks up at the sky.And melancholy, the amorous moonIllumines her with his silver beams.
And now her head droops down againShyly toward the azure waters.But the moon, all pale and lovelorn,Like a phantom, glimmers there too . . .
No. 2 Child! You are as Fair as a Flower
Child, you are as fair as a flower,
Bright, and pure, and dear,
I look at you and admire you,
And again my soul is alive . . .
Gladly would I lay
My hands on your small head,
Asking that God keep you
Fair and pure forever.
Days pass . . .nights pass;
Summer's gone; the yellowed leaf
Rustles; my eyes grow dim;
My thoughts are idle; the heart sleeps.
All's asleep . . . I wonder,
Are you alive, my soul?
I survey the world without passion,
Without tears, without laughter!
And where's my destiny? Fate,
I guess, hasn't given me one . . .
But if I don't deserve a good one,
Why didn't a bad one befall me?
Don't let me, God, as in a dream,
Wander . . . grow cold in my heart.
Don't let me be a rotten log
That lies across the path.
But let me live, Creator,
Let me live by my heart, by my heart!
So I can praise your wondrous world,
So I can love my neighbour!
Bondage is fearful! Heavy it is to bear . . .
The Soldier's Wife
I fell in love
To my sorrow
With a poor orphan
An unlucky lad.
Such is the fate
That has befallen me.
They took him away
Made him an army recruit . . .
And I'm a soldier's wife,
In a stranger's hut
I'll grow old, it seems.
Oh what a fate
Has befallen me.
I too had a native land;
A fir tree swayed above me there . . .
But it was a dream!
My family were living friends.
And all around me
Words of love were spoken . . .
But it was a dream!
Oh my God!
Look down on me, a sinner;
I'm miserable, sick in spirit,
My heart is torn with remorse.
Heavenly Father, my sin is great,
There is no greater crime on earth.
His youthful blood was ardent,
His love was pure,
But he kept it secret, telling no one
For it was sacred to him.
I knew all this . . . Oh, Lord!
Forgive me, a sinner in pain.
I understood his torments;
With just a smile, a single glance,
I could have made him well,
And yet I took no pity on him.
He suffered for a long, long time,
In pain and deep sorrow;
And finally he died, poor soul.
Oh, Lord, oh, heavenly Father!
Hear my sinful prayer . . .
Behold, how my soul is in pain.