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Es war der Rose erster Schmerz! (1851) Op.112

Part of a series or song cycle:

Der Rose Pilgerfahrt I (Op. 112)

Es war der Rose erster Schmerz!

Es war der Rose erster Schmerz!
Trostbittend schaut sie himmelwärts;
Und weiter unter Abendglüh’n
Wallt still die Blumenkönigin.
Ein einsam Häuschen unscheinbar,
Nimmt jetzt ihr Auge wieder wahr.
Am Friedhof liegt es angelehnt,
Vom Fliederbaume rings verschönt;
Durch’s off’ne Tor ragt Kreuz und Stein,
Verklärt vom gold’nen Abendschein.
Sie tritt hinein, da steht ein Greis,
Gebückt das Haupt wie Silber,
Er gräbt – den Spaten in der Hand,
Ein Grab in’s grüne Land.
Für wen ist’s Grab hier, tief und klein?
Für uns’res Müllers Töchterlein.
O arme Schwester, tief beklagt! –
Ein schwerer Tod – ein Tod voll Schmerzen
Zu sterben am gebroch’nem Herzen –
Wie soll ich mir dein Reden deuten?
Bringt treue Liebe solche Leiden?
Wer heiss geliebt und ward betrogen,
Der hat ein Todeslos gezogen –
Er wird geheilt von seinen Schmerzen
Nur an der Erde Mutterherzen. –
O Schwester, tief beklagt!
Doch sieh’, da kommt mit Trauersang
Der Leichenzug den Weg entlang.

It was the rose’s first pain

It was the rose’s first pain.
Seeking comfort she looked toward heaven
And onward in the evening glow
The flower-queen quietly wanders.
A lonely, unpretentious house
Her eye now spies again.
Leaning against the graveyard wall
Beautified on all sides by lilacs;
Through the open gate stand cross and stone
Transfigured by the golden evening light.
She enters, there stands an aged man,
Bent is his silvery head,
He digs – the spade in his hand,
A grave into the green land.
For whom is this grave here, deep and small?
For our miller’s little daughter.
Oh poor sister, deeply mourned! –
It was a hard death – a death full of pain
To die of a broken heart –
How shall I interpret your words?
Does true love bring such suffering?
Who loved deeply and was betrayed,
Death was his lot –
He will be healed of his pain
Only in the motherly bosom of the earth. –
Oh sister, deeply mourned! –
But see, there comes with doleful dirge
The funeral cortege along the road.
Translations by Sharon Krebs first published in 2009 at, and reprinted by Carus-Verlag

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Robert Schumann was a German composer and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law, intending to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist. He had been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the finest pianist in Europe, but a hand injury ended this dream. Schumann then focused his musical energies on composing.

Schumann's published compositions were written exclusively for the piano until 1840; he later composed works for piano and orchestra; many Lieder (songs for voice and piano); four symphonies; an opera; and other orchestral, choral, and chamber works. Works such as KinderszenenAlbum für die JugendBlumenstück, the Sonatas and Albumblätter are among his most famous. His writings about music appeared mostly in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (New Journal for Music), a Leipzig-based publication which he jointly founded.

In 1840, Schumann married Friedrich Wieck's daughter Clara, against the wishes of her father, following a long and acrimonious legal battle, which found in favor of Clara and Robert. Clara also composed music and had a considerable concert career as a pianist, the earnings from which formed a substantial part of her father's fortune.

Schumann suffered from a lifelong mental disorder, first manifesting itself in 1833 as a severe melancholic depressive episode, which recurred several times alternating with phases of ‘exaltation’ and increasingly also delusional ideas of being poisoned or threatened with metallic items. After a suicide attempt in 1854, Schumann was admitted to amental asylum, at his own request, in Endenich near Bonn. Diagnosed with "psychotic melancholia", Schumann died two years later in 1856 without having recovered from his mental illness.

Taken from wikipedia. To read the rest of the article, please click here.

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