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Hello everyone

Here is a video of the Chopin 2nd Ballade Op.38 with the poem Åšwitezianka in english. Enjoy it.

For more information about the ballades and Mickiewicz poetry i also recomend the following book:

as Narrative of National Martyrdom
Jonathan D. Bellman


Last edited by Kreisler; 03/19/12 05:05 PM. Reason: link to copyrighted work removed
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Switezianka - The Nymph of Lake Switez

Who is the lad so comely and young
And who is the maid at his side
Who walk by the Switez blue waters, among
The moonbeams that shine on its tide?

A basket of raspberries she holds out,
He gives her a wreath for her hair;
The lad is her lover, beyond a doubt,
And she is his sweetheart fair.

Never a night but at dusk they stand
On the shore by the old larch tree;
The youth hunts here in the forest land,
But the maiden is strange to me.

You may ask in vain whence she comes and where
She vanishes: no one knows.
Like the crowfoot’s moist bloom on the marsh, she is there -
Like the will-o’-the-wisp, she goes.

“Beautiful maid whom I love so well,
Wherefore this secrecy?
Where do your father and mother dwell,
By what road do you come to me?

“Summer is over, the leaves grow brown,
And the rains are about to break;
Must I always wait here till you wander down
To the shore of this desolate lake?

“Will you range through the wood like a heedless roe,
Forever a ghost in the night?
Stay rather with him who will love you so,
With me, O my heart’s delight!

“My cottage is near where the woodland trees
Spread their sheltering branches thick;
There is plenty of milk, there is game when you please,
And the fruit from the boughs to pick.”

“Nay, have done, haughty stripling, my father’s tales
Have forewarned me against your art:
For the voice of a man is the nightingale’s,
But the fox’s is his heart.

“And I have more fear of your treachery
Than belief in your changing flame;
And were I to do what you ask of me
Would you always remain the same?”

Then the youth knelt down and with sand in his palm
He called on the powers of heck
He swore by the moon so holy and calm -
Will he hold to his oath so well?

“I counsel you, hunter, to keep your oath
And the promise that here you swore;
For woe to the man who shall break it, both
While he lives and forevermore.”

So saying, she places her wreath on his brow
And, making no longer stay,
She has waved him good-by from afar and now
She is over the field and away.

Vainly the hunter increases his speed
For her fleetness outmatches his own;
She has vanished as light as the wind on the mead,
He is left on the shore alone.

Alone he returns on the desolate ground
Where the marshlands heave and quake
And the air is silent - the only sound
When the dry twigs rustle and break.

He walks by the water with wandering tread,
He searches with wandering eyes;
On a sudden the winds through the deepwood spread
And the waters seethe and rise.

They rise and they swell and their depths divide-
Oh, phantoms, seen only in dreams!
On the field of the Switez all silver-dyed
A beautiful maiden gleams!

Her face like the petals of some pale rose
That is sprinkled with morning dew;
Round her heavenly form her light dress blows
Like a cloud of a misty hue.

“My handsome young stripling,” so o’er and o’er
Comes the maiden’s tender croon,
“Oh, why do you walk on the desolate shore
By the light of the shining moon?

“Why do you grieve for a wanton flirt
Who has cozened you into her trap,
Who has turned your head and has brought you to hurt
And who laughs at you now, mayhap?

“Oh, heed my soft words and my gentle glance,
Sigh and be mournful no more,
But come to me here and together we’ll dance
On the water’s crystal floor.

“You may sleep in the silvery depths at night
On a couch in a mirrored tent
Upon water lilies soft and white,
Amid visions of ravishment.”

Her swan bosom gleams through her drapery,
The hunter’s glance modestly falls
As the maiden draws nearer him over the sea
And “Come to me, come!” she calls.

Then winging her path on the breeze she sweeps
In a rainbow arch away
And cutting the waves in the watery deeps
She splashes the silver spray.

The youth follows after, then pauses once more,
He would leap yet he still draws back;
And the damp wave goes rippling away from the shore,
Luring him on in its track.

It lures caressingly over the sand
Till his heart melts away in his breast,
As when a chaste maid softly presses the hand
Of the youth whom she loves the best.

No longer he thinks of his own fair maid
And the vow that he swore he would keep;
By another enchantress his senses are swayed
And he runs to his death in the deep.

He hastens and gazes, he looks and he hastes,
Till already the land is far;
He is carried away on the lake’s broad wastes
Where its midmost waters are.

Now his fingers clasp snowy-cool finger-tips,
His eyes meet a beautiful face,
He presses his lips against rosy lips,
And he circles through dancing space.

Then a little breeze whistled, a little cloud broke
That had cast its deceiving shade,
And the youth knows the maid, now unhid by its cloak-
‘Tis his love of the woodland glade!

“Now where is my counsel and where is your oath
And the vow so solemnly swore?
Oh, woe to the man who has broken it, both
While he lives and forevermore!

“Not for you is the silvery whirlpool’s cup
Nor the gulfs where the clear sea lies,
But the harsh earth shall swallow your body up
And the gravel shall put out your eyes.

“For a thousand years shall your spirit wait
By the side of this witnessing tree,
And the fires of heck that never abate
Shall burn you unceasingly.”

He hears, and he walks with a wandering tread,
He gazes with wandering eyes;
Then a hurricane out of the deepwood sped
And the waters seethe and rise.

They seethe to their depths and the circling tide
Of the whirlpool snatches them down
Through its open jaws as the seas divide:
So the youth and the maiden drown.

And still when the lake waters foam and roar,
And still in the moon’s pale light,
Two shadows come flitting along the shore:
The youth and the maiden bright.

She plays where the lake glitters sliver and clear,
He groans by the old larch tree;
The youth hunted game in the forest here,
But the maiden is strange to me.

-Adam Mickiewicz

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We should mention that as was discussed in another recent thread, that poem is sometimes identified with the 3rd Ballade. It's not really known which poem goes with any of the Ballades.

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According to Bailie Schumann records that Chopin had told him he had been inspired by the poems of Mickiewicz, but otherwise she says that "strenuous and inconclusive efforts" have been made to link Chopin's Ballade No.2 to a specific poem (by Mickiewicz).

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Well, as Chopin used to write in the manuscripts "Let them gess..." And we sure try. I played the 3rd Ballade and also connected it to this poem. But one thing is certain, we will never know.
Greeings to all

Last edited by andrevazpereira; 08/06/15 02:17 PM.

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