Abschiedsbrief (Music Recording, 1920)

(A Farewell Letter)

Lied: Camilla Frydan 
Text: Erwin Weill 
English Translation: Jeff Bailey

Spoken: A servant brought me this letter yesterday; Since then I am compelled to read it time and again.

When you hold this white page in your hands, in those slender little hands which I love, the hands I would kiss until their burning glow is as my thirsty lips, you say somewhat jeeringly, "Dreamer." Quite right, Madame, I am a dreamer. All night am I in the dark, longing, since the thought of you shortens the hours. At night you belong to me, you belong only to me. I walked with you through silent gardens, full o aroma and colored majesty, with yew hedges, grottos and tritons. You, the marquise, and I the cavalier. Very stiffly geberden with rococo...ah, I kissed your hand, you hit me tenderly on my right shoulder. And then here was again a great sleigh ride. Silver bells rang through the night, and torches smoldered a glowing red. In heavy ermine fur, and a big muff which concealed your face but left your blue eyes visible, you sat in the back and I was close behind you. Suddenly you leaned your head back, your gaze was moist, and I kissed your eyes. The fairy tale depth of your dark lashes covered our love! Then, once again, bohemia. The left opera box was bathed in a dull red light...you leaned on the parapet, the air was humid, and heavy with desire and unfulfilled wants. There I stroked your slender neck with my lips, Madame. You turned and snaked your arm around my neck and pressed your cheek tenderly against my face. You belonged to me. And now I am at my end! When you are again at the theater, and you proudly look around the house, notice the third row on the right. Who will be there? Is it a professor, a merchant, a judge or officer? Perhaps, Marquise, it will one day be a poet, who only dreams of life, yet does not live it. Adieu, Madame!! Think of the one who today bids thee farewell!

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