Now I lay me down to sleep…
I pray the Deutsch my mind will keep.
O dear Schubert, please refrain –
Please don’t evacuate my brain.
Words of Rellstab, Heine, Seidl,
Of learning you I’ve not been idle,
But hear me now, ach! Hear my plea:
Please do not hide! I call for thee!
For all to soon the time will come
When words and music make a sum.
The joining two one song will make -
Wait, just one song? Surely I jape!
Seventeen songs there are all told!
Running amok and making bold!
This mix and mash, alas!, I find,
Creates a pain in my behind!
Heine’s lads and Rellstab’s ladies?
They’re over there! They’re raising hades!
They jump from one verse to the next
Messing up my well-learned text.
They loose the nightingales and pigeons,
Which then let loose in other regions
Of my mind where I had ordered
Rows and lines of prose unnumbered.
Alas! What grim menagerie
Has learning Schubert come to be.
I wish, I wish their hands they’d stay
For my recital Saturday.
Now then, dear Schubert, Wolf, et al
Return the beasties to their stall.
For soon your songs will all be sung.
Would you their verse smell full of dung?
The hour grows late. Ach! I must sleep.
All too soon my clock will beep!
So help me please, please do not wait.
Help me keep the verses straight.