"He came to see us in rain and thunder"

Soprano Abigail Miller

He came to see us in rain and thunder;
my heart was timid and turned against him.
How could I know that, with every moment,
life was drawing us together?

He came to see us in rain and thunder;
his words were daring and won me over.
But did he take me? Or did I win him?
We drew close to one another.

He came to see us in rain and thunder;
now springtime comes and bestows its blessings.
My friend has left us, but I am happy.
With every step, we go together.

Many of the lyric poems of Friedrich Rückert (1788-1866) have become classic songs in the hands of composers ranging from Schubert to Bartok.

This is one of five Rückert song settings that Clara Wieck Schumann composed in the spring of 1841, during the first year of her marriage to Robert Schumann. She was 22 (and six months pregnant), and her song is alive with all the impetuousness and tenderness of youth. You can hear soprano Abigail Miller perform it at the first link below.

As you can see, I've kept close to the cadences of the German poem, but I've used half-rhymes in place of the full ones Rückert used:

Er ist gekommen in Sturm und Regen,
Ihm schlug belkommen mein Herz entregen.
Wie konnt’ ich ahen, daß seine Bahnen
Sich einen sollten meinen Wegen.

Er ist gekommen in Sturm und Regen,
Er hat genommen mein Herz verwegen.
Nahm er das meine? Nahm ich das seine?
Die beiden kamen sich entgegen.

Er ist gekommen in Sturm und Regen,
Nun ist gekommen des Frühlings Segen.
Der Freund zieht weiter, ich seh’ es heiter,
Denn er bleibt mein auf allen Wegen.


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