Meeting

Für die Liebe!

Text by Heinrich Heine (1797-1856)
Translated into English by Joseph Massaad 
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Music resounds under the lime-tree,
And the boys and girls are dancing there;
There are two dancers whom no one knows,
They look like a slender and noble pair.

They hover up, they hover down,
In a strange, unfamiliar way;
They look laughingly at each other, shake their heads,
Whispering softly, the girl has this to say:

"My handsome knight, a nixie lily
Is hanging on your hat,
It only grows deep at the bottom of the sea,
You are not human, in fact!

In fact, you are a water sprite,
Set to seduce the village beauties.
I recognised you at a glance
By your fish-bone teeth. "

They hover up, they hover down
In a strange, unfamiliar way.
They look laughingly at each over, shake their heads,
Whispering softly the knight has this to say:

" My fair young lady, tell me why
Your hand is so ice-cold?
And why is the hem of your white gown
So wet? I'd like to be told!

I recognised you at a glance
By your mocking curtsy.
You are no earthly human child,
You are my kinswoman, a nixie. "

The violins fall silent, the dance is over,
The two part in a polite manner.
Alas, they know each other far too well,
And now try to avoid each other.