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Lass sie nur gehn, die so die Stolze spielt (1896) no.30

Part of a series or song cycle:

Italienisches Liederbuch

Lass sie nur gehn, die so die Stolze spielt

Lass sie nur gehn, die so die Stolze spielt,
Das Wunderkräutlein aus dem Blumenfeld.
Man sieht, wohin ihr blankes Auge zielt,
Da Tag um Tag ein andrer ihr gefällt.
Sie treibt es grade wie Toscanas Fluss,
Dem jedes Berggewässer folgen muss.
Sie treibt es wie der Arno, will mir scheinen:
Bald hat sie viel Bewerber, bald nicht einen.

Let her go, then, if she acts so proud

Let her go, then, if she acts so proud,
The magic herb in a field of flowers.
You can see what her bright eyes are after,
For day after day she fancies a different man.
She carries on just like Tuscany’s river
Which every mountain stream must follow.
She carries on just like the Arno, it seems to me:
Now wooed by many, now by none.
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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