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Songs

Songs

Abschied (1888) no.53


Part of a series or song cycle:

Mörike-Lieder


Abschied

Unangeklopft ein Herr tritt Abends bei mir ein:
„Ich habe die Ehr, Ihr Rezensent zu sein!“
Sofort nimmt er das Licht in die Hand,
Besieht lang meinen Schatten an der Wand,
Rückt nah und fern: „Nun, lieber junger Mann,
Sehn Sie doch gefälligst mal Ihre Nas so von der Seite an!
Sie geben zu, daß das ein Auswuchs is.“
– Das? Alle Wetter – gewiß!
Ei Hasen! ich dachte nicht,
All’ mein Lebtage nicht,
Daß ich so eine Weltsnase führt im Gesicht!!
Der Mann sprach noch Verschiedenes hin und her,
Ich weiß, auf meine Ehre, nicht mehr;
Meinte vielleicht, ich sollt ihm beichten.
Zuletzt stand er auf; ich tat ihm leuchten.
Wie wir nun an der Treppe sind,
Da geb ich ihm, ganz froh gesinnt,
Einen kleinen Tritt
Nur so von hinten aufs Gesäße mit –
Alle Hagel! ward das ein Gerumpel,
Ein Gepurzel, ein Gehumpel!
Dergleichen hab ich nie gesehn,
All mein Lebtage nicht gesehn,
Einen Menschen so rasch die Trepp hinabgehn!

Goodbye

Without knocking a man one evening enters my room:
‘I have the honour, sir, to be your critic!’
He instantly takes my lamp in his hand,
Inspects at length my shadow on the wall,
Moves back and forth: ‘Now, young man,
Be so good as to view your nose from the side!
You’ll admit that it’s a monstrosity." –
– What? Good god – you’re right!
Bless my soul! I never thought,
In all my life,
I had a nose of such cosmic size!!
The man said various other things,
What – I truly no longer recall;
Maybe he thought I should confess to him.
At last he got up; I lit his way.
As we stood at the top of the stairs,
I gave him, in the best of spirits,
A wee little kick
On his derrière –
Goodness me! What a rumbling,
A tumbling, a stumbling!
I’ve never before seen the like,
Never in all my born days have I seen
A man go downstairs so fast!
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

Composer

Hugo Philipp Jacob Wolf was an Austrian composer of Slovene origin. He is particularly known for his art song, or Lieder. His Lieder display a concentrated expressive intensity unique to Wolf. 

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Poet

Eduard Friedrich Mörike was a German Romantic poet.

Mörike was born in Ludwigsburg. His father was Karl Friedrich Mörike (d. 1817), a district medical councilor; his mother was Charlotte Bayer. He attended the Latin school at Ludwigsburg, and the seminary at Urach (1818) where he made the acquaintance of Wilhelm Hartlaub and Wilhelm Waiblinger. He then studied theology at the Seminary of Tübingen where he met Ludwig Bauer, David Friedrich Strauss and F. T. Vischer.

He followed an ecclesiastical career, becoming a Lutheran pastor. In 1834 he was appointed pastor of Cleversulzbach near Weinsberg, and, after his early retirement for reasons of health, in 1851 became professor of German literature at the Katharinenstift in Stuttgart. This office he held until his retirement in 1866; but he continued to live in Stuttgart until his death. In what political and social views he espoused, he was monarchist and conservative.

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