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Der Schreckenberger no.9

Part of a series or song cycle:

Gedichte von Joseph von Eichendorff

Der Schreckenberger

Aufs Wohlsein meiner Dame,
Eine Windfahn’ ist ihr Panier,
Fortuna ist ihr Name,
Das Lager ihr Quartier!
Und wendet sie sich weiter, 
Ich kümmre mich nicht drum,
Da draussen ohne Reiter,
Da geht die Welt so dumm.
Statt Pulverblitz und Knattern
Aus jedem wüsten Haus
Gevattern sehn und schnattern
Alle Lust zum Land hinaus.
Fortuna weint vor Ärger, 
Es rinnet Perl’ auf Perl’;
„Wo ist der Schreckenberger?
Das war ein andrer Kerl!“
Sie tut den Arm mir reichen,
Fama bläst das Geleit,
So zu dem Tempel steigen
Wir der Unsterblichkeit.

The swashbuckler

Let’s drink to my lady!
A weather vane’s her banner,
Fortune’s her name,
The camp’s her billet!
And if she goes on her way,
It won’t bother me,
For life in the outside world
Is dull without a rider.
Instead of gunpowder and rattling muskets,
Old gossips peer from drab houses
And prattle
All pleasure from life.
Fortune sheds tears of anger,
Trickling pearl on pearl:
“Where’s my swashbuckling fellow?
He was a real man.”
She offers me her arm,
Fame sounds the advance,
Thus do we ascend
To the Temple of Immortality.
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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Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff was a German poet, novelist, playwright, literary critic, translator, and anthologist. Eichendorff was one of the major writers and critics of Romanticism. Ever since their publication and up to the present day, some of his works have been very popular in Germany.

Eichendorff first became famous for his novella Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts (Memoirs of a Good-For-Nothing) and his poems. The Memoirs of a Good-For-Nothing, a typical romantic novella, whose main themes are wanderlust and love. The protagonist, the son of a miller, rejects his father's trade and becomes a gardener at a Viennese palace where he subsequently falls in love with the local duke's daughter. As, with his lowly status, she is unattainable for him, he escapes to Italy - only to return and learn that she is the duke's adopted daughter, and thus within his social reach. With its combination of dream world and realism, Memoirs of a Good-For-Nothing is considered to be a high point of Romantic fiction. One critic stated that "Eichendorff’s 'Good-For-Nothing' is the "personification of love of nature and an obsession with hiking." Thomas Mann called Eichendorff's Good-For-Nothing a combination of "the purity of the folk song and the fairy tale."

Many of Eichendorff's poems were first published as integral parts of his novellas and stories, where they are often performed in song by one of the protagonists. The novella Good-For-Nothing alone contains 54 poems.

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