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Songs

An Schwager Kronos (1816) D369

An Schwager Kronos

Spute dich, Kronos!
Fort den rasselnden Trott!
Bergab gleitet der Weg:
Ekles Schwindeln zögert
Mir vor die Stirne dein Zaudern.
Frisch, holpert es gleich,
Über Stock und Steine den Trott
Rasch ins Leben hinein!
Nun schon wieder
Den eratmenden Schritt
Mühsam berghinauf,
Auf denn, nicht träge denn
Strebend und hoffend hinan!
Weit, hoch, herrlich
Rings den Blick ins Leben hinein;
Vom Gebirg zum Gebirge
Schwebet der ewige Geist,
Ewigen Lebens ahndevoll.
Seitwärt des Überdachs Schatten
Zieht dich an
Und ein Frischung verheissender Blick
Auf der Schwelle des Mädchens da
Labe dich! – Mir auch, Mädchen,
Diesen schäumenden Trank,
Diesen frischen Gesundheitsblick!
Ab denn, rascher hinab!
Sieh, die Sonne sinkt!
Eh sie sinkt, eh mich Greisen
Ergreift im Moore Nebelduft,
Entzahnte Kiefer schnattre
Und das schlotternde Gebein,
Trunknen vom letzten Strahl
Reiss mich, ein Feuermeer
Mir im schäumenden Aug’
Mich geblendeten Taumelnden
In der Hölle nächtliches Tor.
Töne, Schwager, in’s Horn,
Rassle den schallenden Trab,
Dass der Orkus vernehme: wir kommen,
Dass gleich an der Tür
Der Wirt uns freundlich empfange.

To Coachman Chronos

Make haste, Chronos!
Break into a rattling trot!
The way runs downhill;
I feel a sickening giddiness
at your dallying.
Quick, away, never mind the bumping,
over sticks and stones, trot
briskly into life!
Now once again
breathless, at walking pace,
struggling uphill;
up then, don’t be sluggish,
onwards, striving and hoping.
Wide, lofty and glorious
is the view around into life;
from mountain range to mountain range
the eternal spirit glides,
bringing promise of eternal life.
A shady roof
draws you aside
and the gaze of a girl
on the step, promising refreshment.
Refresh yourself! For me too, girl,
that foaming draught,
that fresh, healthy look.
Down then, down faster!
Look, the sun is sinking!
Before it sinks, before the mist
seizes me, an old man, on the moor,
toothless jaws chattering,
limbs shaking,
Snatch me, drunk with its last ray,
a sea of fire
foaming in my eyes,
blinded, reeling
through hell’s nocturnal gate.
Coachman, sound your horn,
rattle noisily on at a trot.
Let Orcus know we’re coming.
So that the innkeeper is at the door
to give us a kind welcome.
Translations by Richard Wigmore first published by Gollancz and reprinted in the Hyperion Schubert Song Edition

Composer

Franz Peter Schubert was an late Classical and early Romantic composer. He produced a vast oeuvre during his short life, composing more the 600 vocal works (largely Lieder), and well as several symphonies, operas, and a large body of piano music. He was uncommonly gifted from a young age, but appreciation of his music was limited during his lifetime. His work became more popular in the decades after his death, and was praised by 19th century composers, including Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Liszt.

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Poet

Johann Wolfgang Goethe was a German writer and statesman. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels. In addition, numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, and nearly 3,000 drawings by him exist. A literary celebrity by the age of 25, Goethe was ennobled by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Karl August in 1782 after first taking up residence there in November 1775 following the success of his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther. He was an early participant in the Sturm und Drang literary movement. During his first ten years in Weimar, Goethe served as a member of the Duke's privy council, sat on the war and highway commissions, oversaw the reopening of silver mines in nearby Ilmenau, and implemented a series of administrative reforms at the University of Jena. He also contributed to the planning of Weimar's botanical park and the rebuilding of its Ducal Palace, which in 1998 were together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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