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Könnt’ ich mit ihnen ... Frieden, zieh’ in meine Brust (1849) Op. 81

Part of a series or song cycle:

Genoveva (Op. 81)

Könnt’ ich mit ihnen ... Frieden, zieh’ in meine Brust

Könnt’ ich mit ihnen! Weiht’ auch mich
Des heil’gen Mannes Segensspruch!
Wer doch wie sie
In blut’ger Feldschlacht könnte werben
Um Ruhm, – den Tod der Ehre sterben!
Ein Anderes ist mir beschieden –
Ruh’ – Still-sein! – Wär’ es auch der Frieden!
Frieden, zieh’ in meine Brust,
Sänftige das tiefe Leid,
Der Gefühle grimmen Streit, –
Frieden, zieh’ in meine Brust!
Trüb’ will Alles mir erscheinen,
Wie die Sonn’ auch golden scheint –
Könnt’ ich klagen, könnt’ ich weinen,
Tränen, wie ich sonst geweint!
Wie anders mein Sinnen
In früheren Tagen!
Da trieb’s mich hinaus
Zu Kampf und Strauss!
Kein Ross mir zu wild,
Keine Kluft mir zu breit,
Zu eng das Gefild,
Kein Ziel mir zu weit!
Und kehrt’ ich dann heim
Zu fröhlicher Rast,
Wie klang da beim Schalle
Der Zither mein Lied,
Vom Lobe des Sängers
Ertönte die Halle.
Wie zollten sie alle
Dem fröhlichen Sang
So minniglich Dank,
Und feuriger schwang
Beim gastlichen Mahl
Zum vollen Pokal
Empor sich der Sang! –
Das war in früheren Tagen, –
Und jetzt! –
Frieden, zieh in meine Brust etc.
Siegfried, Siegfried –
Du ein zweiter Vater mir, dem
Ich alles danke,
Was tust du mir!
Zum Hüter deines Weibes hast
Du mich bestellt! –
Und ich, ein Mensch,
Soll diesen Himmel wahren! –
Ich seh’ sie nahen, – könnt’ ich flüchten,
Verbergen mich, wohin kein Strahl der Sonne dringt!
Frieden, zieh in meine Brust etc.

If only I could go with them ... O peace, enter my breast

If only I could go with them! The holy man
Would bestow on me his blessing!
How wonderful
To strive like them for fame and die a hero
In a bloody battle!
A different task has been allotted me –
Stillness. Inactivity! If only it were peace!
O peace, enter my breast,
Assuage the deep pain,
The dire turmoil of my senses –
O peace, enter my breast!
All seems drear to me,
However golden the sun shines –
If only I could grieve, could weep tears,
As once I did!
How different were my thoughts
In days gone by!
I yearned then
For the fight, for battle!
No horse was too wild,
No chasm too wide,
My home was too confined,
No goal was too far!
And when I came home
To happy repose,
How merry my song
Sounded to the zither,
The hall resounded
To the praise of the bard.
How everyone lovingly
Accorded me thanks,
And at the welcoming banquet
Our song would rise
More passionately
As we raised our full goblets!
That was in days gone by –
And now!
O peace, enter my breast etc.
Siegfried, Siegfried,
You who were a second father to me,
To whom I owe everything,
What have you done to me!
You appointed me
Your wife’s guardian!
And I, a mere mortal,
Am to protect this angel!
I see her draw near - could I but fly
And conceal myself
In a place where the sun never shines!
O peace, enter my breast etc.
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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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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