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From Songs and Dances of Death by Modest Mussorgsky.

Unknown translator.

Also: "Cradle song."

Faint sounds of moaning!
The lamp now expiring casts but a dim flick'ring light.
Rocking the cradle, the mother untiring
Waits, watches, all through the night.
Long before dawn someone comes knocking,
Death the deliverer is here!
Hark! Trembling, the mother desists from her rocking...
"Friend, calm your fear and despair!
See, through the window peeps the pale morrow,
Weeping and watching forlorn,
Rest, poor woman, rest from your sorrow,
Sleep, I will watch till the morn.
Could you not hush your poor infant to slumber?
My song is sweeter than yours."
"Silence! my baby is suffering, crying,
Grief rends this my heart!"
"Soon he will sleep in my arms softly lying;
Hush baby, hush baby mine!"
"Pale grow his cheeks, the fever increases,
O sing no more, I entreat!"
"These are good signs, see his agony ceases,
Hush-a-by, hush-a-by, sweet."
"Hence! Accursed Death!
Look how your singing does blight my baby, my joy!"
"Nay, peaceful dreams to your son I am bringing.
Hush now, hush now, my boy!"
"Mercy, one instant, kind Death,
Cease your strain!"
"See, there he slumbers, my song stilled his pain:
Hush-a-by, hush-a-by!"

From the REC Music Foundation's Lied and Song text page, http://www.lieder.net/. Public domain, to the best of my knowledge.

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