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Songs

Songs

Ach, wie lang die Seele schlummert! (1890) no.8


Part of a series or song cycle:

Spanisches Liederbuch: Geistliche Lieder


Ach, wie lang die Seele schlummert!

Ach, wie lang die Seele schlummert!
Zeit ist’s, dass sie sich ermuntre.
Dass man tot sie wähnen dürfte,
Also schläft sie schwer und bang,
Seit sie jener Rausch bezwang
Den in Sündengift sie schlürfte.
Doch nun ihrer Sehnsucht Licht
Blendend ihr in’s Auge bricht:
Zeit ist’s, dass sie sich ermuntre.
Mochte sie gleich taub erscheinen
Bei der Engel süssem Chor:
Lauscht sie doch wohl zag empor,
Hört sie Gott als Kindlein weinen.
Da nach langer Schlummernacht
Solch ein Tag der Gnad’ ihr lacht,
Zeit ist’s, dass sie sich ermuntre.

Ah, how long the soul has slumbered!

Ah, how long the soul has slumbered!
It is time it roused iteself.
My soul might be considered dead,
It sleeps so heavily and fearfully,
Since overcome by that intoxication
It quaffed from the cup of sin.
But now the longed-for light
Breaks through and dazzles the eyes:
It is time it roused itself.
Though the soul seemed deaf
To the sweet angelic choirs:
It timidly pricks up its ears
On hearing God weep as a little child.
Since after a long night of sleep,
Such a day of grace now smiles on it,
It is time it roused itself.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

Composer

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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Poet

Emanuel von Geibel , German poet and playwright.
He was born at Lübeck, the son of a pastor. He was originally intended for his father's profession and studied at Bonn and Berlin, but his real interests lay not in theology but in classical and romance philology. In 1838 he accepted a tutorship at Athens, where he remained until 1840. In the same year he published, in conjunction with his friend Ernst Curtius, a volume of translations from Greek. His first poems were published in a volume entitled Zeitstimmen in 1841. In 1842 he entered the service of Frederick William IV, the king of Prussia, with an annual stipend of 300 thalers; under whom he produced König Roderich (1843), a tragedy, König Sigurds Brautfahrt (1846), an epic, and Juniuslieder (1848), lyrics in a more spirited and manlier style than his early poems.

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