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Du sagst mir, dass ich keine Fürstin sei (1896) no.28

Part of a series or song cycle:

Italienisches Liederbuch

Du sagst mir, dass ich keine Fürstin sei

Du sagst mir, dass ich keine Fürstin sei;
Auch du bist nicht auf Spaniens Thron entsprossen.
Nein, Bester, stehst du auf bei Hahnenschrei,
Fährst du aufs Feld und nicht in Staatskarossen.
Du spottest mein um meine Niedrigkeit,
Doch Armut tut dem Adel nichts zuleid.
Du spottest, dass mir Krone fehlt und Wappen,
Und fährst doch selber nur mit Schusters Rappen.

You tell me that I'm no princess

You tell me that I’m no princess;
But you’re not Spanish royalty either.
No, my dear, when you get up at cock-crow,
You go to the fields, and don’t ride in state carriages.
You mock at my lowly station,
But poverty doesn’t hurt the noble soul.
You mock me for having no crown or crest,
But Shanks’ Mare is all you ride yourself.
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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Paul Johann Ludwig von Heyse was a distinguished German writer and translator. A member of two important literary societies, the Tunnel über der Spree in Berlin and Die Krokodile in Munich, he wrote novels, poetry, 177 short stories, and about sixty dramas. The sum of Heyse's many and varied productions made him a dominant figure among German men of letters. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1910 "as a tribute to the consummate artistry, permeated with idealism, which he has demonstrated during his long productive career as a lyric poet, dramatist, novelist and writer of world-renowned short stories." Wirsen, one of the Nobel judges, said that "Germany has not had a greater literary genius since Goethe." Heyse is the fifth oldest laureate in literature, after Doris Lessing, Theodor Mommsen, Alice Munro and Jaroslav Seifert.

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