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Songs

Songs

Schilflied (1907)


Part of a series or song cycle:

Sieben frühe Lieder


Schilflied

Auf geheimem Waldespfade
Schleich’ ich gern im Abendschein
An das öde Schilfgestade,
Mädchen, und gedenke dein!
Wenn sich dann der Busch verdüstert,
Rauscht das Rohr geheimnisvoll,
Und es klaget und es flüstert,
Daß ich weinen, weinen soll.
Und ich mein’, ich höre wehen
Leise deiner Stimme Klang,
Und im Weiher untergehen
Deinen lieblichen Gesang.

Reed song

Along a secret forest path
I love to steal in the evening light
To the desolate reedy shore
And think, my girl, of you!
When the bushes then grow dark,
The reeds pipe mysteriously,
Lamenting and whispering,
That I must weep, must weep.
And I seem to hear the soft sound
Of your voice,
And your lovely singing
Drowning in the pond.
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

Poet

Nikolaus Lenau was the nom de plume of Nikolaus Franz Niembsch Edler von Strehlenau, a German-language Austrian poet.

He was born at Schadat, now Lenauheim, Romania, then in Hungary. His father, a Habsburg government official, died in 1807 in Budapest, leaving his children in the care of their mother, who remarried in 1811. In 1819 Nikolaus went to the University of Vienna; he subsequently studied Hungarian law at Pozsony (Bratislava) and then spent the next four years qualifying himself in medicine. Unable to settle down to any profession, he began writing verse. The disposition to sentimental melancholy inherited from his mother, stimulated by disappointments in love and by the prevailing fashion of the romantic school of poetry, descended into gloom after his mother's death in 1829.

Soon afterwards, however, a legacy from his grandmother enabled him to devote himself wholly to poetry. His first published poems appeared in 1827, in Johann Gabriel Seidl's Aurora. In 1831 he moved to Stuttgart, where he published a volume of Gedichte (1832) dedicated to the Swabian poet, Gustav Schwab. He also made the acquaintance of Ludwig Uhland, Justinus Kerner, Karl Mayer and others. His restless spirit longed for change, and he determined to seek peace and freedom in America.

Taken from Wikipedia. To view the full article, please click here.


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