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Peregrina II (1888) no.34

Part of a series or song cycle:


Peregrina II

Warum, Geliebte, denk ich dein
Auf einmal nun mit tausend Tränen,
Und kann gar nicht zufrieden sein,
Und will die Brust in alle Weite dehnen?
Ach, gestern in den hellen Kindersaal,
Beim Flimmer zierlich aufgesteckter Kerzen,
Wo ich mein selbst vergass in Lärm und Scherzen,
Tratst du, o Bildnis mitleid-schöner Qual;
Es war dein Geist, er setzte sich ans Mahl,
Fremd sassen wir mit stumm verhaltnen Schmerzen;
Zuletzt brach ich in lautes Schluchzen aus,
Und Hand in Hand verliessen wir das Haus.

Peregrina II

Why, beloved, do I now think of you
Suddenly and with a thousand tears,
And cannot be satisfied at all,
And long to extend my heart into infinity?
Ah, you came yesterday to the bright nursery,
In the gleam of decorative candles,
As I forgot myself in noise and mirth,
You came, agony’s image, lovely in compassion;
It was your ghost, it joined us at the feast,
Strangers we sat, our sorrows mutely hidden;
At last I broke out into loud sobs,
And hand in hand we left the house.
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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