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Suleika II (1821) D717

Suleika II

Ach, um deine feuchten Schwingen,
West, wie sehr ich dich beneide:
Denn du kannst ihm Kunde bringen
Was ich in der Trennung leide!
Die Bewegung deiner Flügel
Weckt im Busen stilles Sehnen;
Blumen, Auen, Wald und Hügel
Stehn bei deinem Hauch in Tränen.
Doch dein mildes sanftes Wehen
Kühlt die wunden Augenlider;
Ach, für Leid müsst’ ich vergehen,
Hofft’ ich nicht zu sehn ihn wieder.
Eile denn zu meinem Lieben,
Spreche sanft zu seinem Herzen;
Doch vermeid’ ihn zu betrüben
Und verbirg ihm meine Schmerzen.
Sag ihm, aber sag’s bescheiden:
Seine Liebe sei mein Leben,
Freudiges Gefühl von beiden
Wird mir seine Nähe geben.

Suleika II

Ah, West Wind, how I envy you
your moist wings;
for you can bring him word
of what I suffer separated from him.
The motion of your wings
awakens a silent longing within my breast.
Flowers, meadows, woods and hills
grow tearful at your breath.
But your mild, gentle breeze
cools my sore eyelids;
ah, I should die of grief
if I had no hope of seeing him again.
Hasten then to my beloved
speak softly to his heart –
but be careful not to distress him,
and conceal my suffering from him.
Tell him, but tell him humbly,
that his love is my life,
and that his presence will bring me
a joyous sense of both.
Translations by Richard Wigmore first published by Gollancz and reprinted in the Hyperion Schubert Song Edition

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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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Marianne von Willemer was an Austrian actress and dancer best known for her relationship with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and her appearance in his poetry. At the age of 14 she moved to Frankfurt am Main, where she became the third wife of Frankfurt banker Johann Jakob von Willemer. He introduced her to Goethe, who met Marianne in 1814 and 1815. Goethe immortalised her in the Buch Suleika of his late work West-östlicher Diwan; she later revealed that several of its poems were authored by her.

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