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Wie Blätter am Baum (1851) Op.112

Part of a series or song cycle:

Der Rose Pilgerfahrt I (Op. 112)

Wie Blätter am Baum

Wie Blätter am Baum,
Wie Blumen vergeh’n –
Wie Blütenflaum
Die Winde verweh’n.
So geht vorbei
Des Lebens Mai
Eh’ wir’s denken,
Deckt das Grab,
Was das Leben
Liebes gab!
Oh Schwester, tief beklagt!
Wir werfen in dein frühes Grab
Die Blumen betend still hinab. –
Sei dir die Erde leicht!
Der Erde geben wir zurück Dich,
uns’re Hoffnung, unser Glück.
Schlumm’re sanft!
Schmerz ging mit uns ans Grab hinaus,
Schmerz geht mit uns ins Trauerhaus!
Ruh’ sanft!

How leaves upon trees

How leaves upon trees,
How flowers decay
How downy blossoms
Are scattered by the wind,
Thus passes
Life’s Maytime.
Before we realize it,
The grave covers
The good and beautiful things
Life gave us.
Oh sister, deeply mourned! –
We cast into your early grave
Flowers prayerfully down.
May the sod rest lightly upon you!
We give you back to the earth,
Our hope, our joy.
Sleep softly!
Pain walked with us out to the grave,
Pain walks with us into the house of mourning!
Rest softly!
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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