Filled with musical allusions to the text, of particular note are the backdrop of instumental waves in the second fragment, the primal urgency of the centerpiece, and the frantic birdcalls preceding the conclusion, all of which are framed within a flickering constellation of sounds depicting the solitude of night.
Low hangs the moon -- it rose late,
O it is lagging -- O I think it is heavy with love.
Loud I call to you my love!
High and clear I shoot my voice over the waves,
Surely you must know who is here,
You must know who I am, my love.
Sound clearer through the atmosphere!
Pierce the woods -- the earth,
Somewhere listening to catch you must be the one I want.
Shake out, carols!
Solitary here -- the night's carols!
Carols of lonesome love! Death's carols!
Carols under that lagging, yellow, waning moon!
O, under that moon, where she droops almost down into the sea!
O reckless, despairing carols!
Sink low -- soft!
Soft! Let me just murmur,
And do you hush and wait a moment, you sea,
For somewhere I believe I heard my mate responding to me,
So faint -- I must be still to listen,
But not altogether still, for then she might not come immediately to me.
Hither, my love!
Here I am! Here!
With this just-sustained note I announce myself to you,
This gentle call is for you, my love.
O brown halo in the sky, near the moon, drooping upon the sea,
O troubled reflection in the sea!
O throat! O throbbing heart!
O all -- and I singing uselessly all the night.
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