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Songs

Songs

Neue Liebe, neues Leben (1809) Op.75 no.2

Neue Liebe, neues Leben

Herz, mein Herz, was soll das geben?
Was bedränget dich so sehr?
Welch ein fremdes, neues Leben!
Ich erkenne dich nicht mehr.
Weg ist alles, was du liebtest,
Weg, warum du dich betrübtest,
Weg dein Fleiß und deine Ruh –
Ach, wie kamst du nur dazu!
Fesselt dich die Jugendblüte,
Diese liebliche Gestalt,
Dieser Blick voll Treu und Güte
Mit unendlicher Gewalt?
Will ich rasch mich ihr entziehen,
Mich ermannen, ihr entfliehen,
Führet mich im Augenblick,
Ach, mein Weg zu ihr zurück.
Und an diesem Zauberfädchen,
Das sich nicht zerreissen läßt,
Hält das liebe, lose Mädchen
Mich so wider Willen fest;
Muß in ihrem Zauberkreise
Leben nun auf ihre Weise.
Die Verändrung, ach wie groß!
Liebe, Liebe, laß mich los!

New love, new life

Heart, my heart, what can this mean?
What is it that besets you so?
What a strange and new existence!
I do not know you any more.
Fled is all you used to love,
Fled is all that used to grieve you,
Fled your work and peace of mind –
Ah, how can this have come about!
Does the bloom of youth ensnare you,
This dear figure full of charm,
These eyes so kind and faithful
With inexorable power?
When I try to hasten from her,
Control myself, escape her,
In a moment I am led,
Ah, back to her again.
And by this magic little thread
That cannot be severed,
The sweet and playful girl
Holds me fast against my will;
In her enchanted realm
I must now live as she dictates.
Ah, what a monstrous change!
Love! Love! Let me free!
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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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