Poet: Johann Heinrich Voβ
Music: Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel
English Translation: Robert McFarland
Is it pity, Filomela, that causes your singing to sound so sad--
Like a funeral dirge flowing through the twilight,
Rising from the orchard where you sit surrounded by the scent of May?
In the darkness a figure is floating around me, one that I know well
From nightmares and daydreams.
I see, alas! how she sighs and how a little tear escapes from her eye.
O my guardian spirit, appear to her as she listens with sorrow
To Filomela’s song in the May air.
Appear in the twilight, looking just as pale and tearful, as does thy friend!