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Auf eine Wanderung (1888) no.15

Part of a series or song cycle:


Auf eine Wanderung

In ein freundliches Städtchen tret ich ein,
In den Strassen liegt roter Abendschein.
Aus einem offnen Fenster eben,
Über den reichsten Blumenflor
Hinweg, hört man Goldglockentöne schweben,
Und eine Stimme scheint ein Nachtigallenchor,
Dass die Blüten beben,
Dass die Lüfte leben,
Dass in höherem Rot die Rosen leuchten vor.
Lang hielt ich staunend, lustbeklommen.
Wie ich hinaus vors Tor gekommen,
Ich weiss es wahrlich selber nicht.
Ach hier, wie liegt die Welt so licht!
Der Himmel wogt in purpurnem Gewühle,
Rückwärts die Stadt in goldnem Rauch;
Wie rauscht der Erlenbach, wie rauscht im Grund die Mühle,
Ich bin wie trunken, irrgeführt –
O Muse, du hast mein Herz berührt
Mit einem Liebeshauch!

On a walk

I arrive in a friendly little town,
The streets glow in red evening light.
From an open window,
Across the richest array of flowers
And beyond, golden bell-chimes come floating,
And one voice seems a choir of nightingales,
Causing blossoms to quiver,
Bringing breezes to life,
Making roses glow a brighter red.
Long I halted marvelling, oppressed by joy.
How I came out through the gate,
I cannot in truth remember.
Ah, how bright the world is here!
The sky billows in a crimson whirl,
The town lies behind in a golden haze;
How the alder brook chatters, and the mill below!
I am as if drunk, led astray –
O Muse, you have touched my heart
With a breath of love!
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)


Hugo Philipp Jacob Wolf was an Austrian composer of Slovene origin. He is particularly known for his art song, or Lieder. His Lieder display a concentrated expressive intensity unique to Wolf. 

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Eduard Friedrich Mörike was a German Romantic poet.

Mörike was born in Ludwigsburg. His father was Karl Friedrich Mörike (d. 1817), a district medical councilor; his mother was Charlotte Bayer. He attended the Latin school at Ludwigsburg, and the seminary at Urach (1818) where he made the acquaintance of Wilhelm Hartlaub and Wilhelm Waiblinger. He then studied theology at the Seminary of Tübingen where he met Ludwig Bauer, David Friedrich Strauss and F. T. Vischer.

He followed an ecclesiastical career, becoming a Lutheran pastor. In 1834 he was appointed pastor of Cleversulzbach near Weinsberg, and, after his early retirement for reasons of health, in 1851 became professor of German literature at the Katharinenstift in Stuttgart. This office he held until his retirement in 1866; but he continued to live in Stuttgart until his death. In what political and social views he espoused, he was monarchist and conservative.

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