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Songs

Songs

An meinem Herzen, an meiner Brust (1836) Op.60 no.7


Part of a series or song cycle:

Frauenliebe (Op.60)


An meinem Herzen, an meiner Brust

An meinem Herzen, an meiner Brust,
Du meine Wonne, du meine Lust!
Das Glück ist die Liebe, die Lieb ist das Glück,
Ich hab’s gesagt und nehm’s nicht zurück.
Hab überschwenglich mich geschätzt,
Bin überglücklich aber jetzt.
Nur die da säugt, nur die da liebt
Das Kind, dem sie die Nahrung giebt;
Nur eine Mutter weiss allein,
Was lieben heisst und glücklich sein.
O, wie bedaur’ ich doch den Mann,
Der Mutterglück nicht fühlen kann!
Du lieber, lieber Engel, Du
Du schauest mich an und lächelst dazu!
An meinem Herzen, an meiner Brust,
Du meine Wonne, du meine Lust!

On my heart, at my breast

On my heart, at my breast,
You my delight, my joy!
Happiness is love, love is happiness,
I’ve always said and say so still.
I thought myself rapturous,
But now am delirious with joy.
Only she who suckles, only she who loves
The child that she nourishes;
Only a mother knows
What it means to love and be happy.
Ah, how I pity the man
Who cannot feel a mother’s bliss!
You dear, dear angel, you,
You look at me and you smile!
On my heart, at my breast,
You my delight, my joy!
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

Composer

Johann Carl Gottfried Loewe (G30 November 1796 – 20 April 1869),was a German composer, tenor singer and conductor. He wrote over 400 ballads and songs.

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Poet

Adelbert von Chamisso was a German poet and botanist, author of Peter Schlemihl, a famous story about a man who sold his shadow. He was commonly known in French as Adelbert de Chamisso(t) de Boncourt, a name referring to the family estate at Boncourt.

The son of Louis Marie, Count of Chamisso, by his marriage to Anne Marie Gargam, Chamisso began life as Louis Charles Adélaïde de Chamissot at the château of Boncourt at Ante, in Champagne, France, the ancestral seat of his family. His name appears in several forms, one of the most common being Ludolf Karl Adelbert von Chamisso.

In 1790, the French Revolution drove his parents out of France with their seven children, and they went successively to Liège, the Hague, Wurzburg, and Bayreuth, before settling in Berlin. There, in 1796 the young Chamisso was fortunate in obtaining the post of page-in-waiting to the queen of Prussia, and in 1798 he entered a Prussian infantry regiment as an ensign to train for a career as an army officer.

Shortly thereafter, thanks to the Peace of Tilsit, his family was able to return to France, but Chamisso remained in Prussia and continued his military career. He had little formal education, but while in the Prussian military service in Berlin he assiduously studied natural science for three years. In collaboration with Varnhagen von Ense, in 1803 he founded the Berliner Musenalmanach, the publication in which his first verses appeared. The enterprise was a failure, and, interrupted by the Napoleonic wars, it came to an end in 1806. It brought him, however, to the notice of many of the literary celebrities of the day and established his reputation as a rising poet.

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