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Songs

Der Glücksritter no.10


Part of a series or song cycle:

Gedichte von Joseph von Eichendorff


Der Glücksritter

Wenn Fortuna spröde tut,
Lass’ ich sie in Ruh’,
Singe recht und trinke gut,
Und Fortuna kriegt auch Mut,
Setzt sich mit dazu.
Doch ich geb’ mir keine Müh’:
„He, noch eine her!“
Kehr’ den Rücken gegen sie,
Lass’ hoch leben die und die
Das verdriesst sie sehr.
Und bald rückt sie sacht zu mir:
„Hast du deren mehr?“
„Wie Sie she’n, drei Kannen schier,
Und das lauter Klebebier!
’S wird mir gar nicht schwer.“
Drauf sie zu mir lächelt fein:
„Bist ein ganzer Kerl!“
Ruft den Kellner, schreit nach Wein,
Trinkt mir zu und schenkt mir ein,
Echte Blum’ und Perl’.
Sie bezahlet Wein und Bier,
Und ich, wieder gut,
Führe sie am Arm mit mir
Aus dem Haus wie’n Kavalier,
Alles zieht den Hut.

The soldier of fortune

When Fortune acts coyly,
I leave her in peace,
Singout and drink my fill,
And Fortune too takes heart
And sits down beside me.
But I don’t exert myself:
“Hey, another beer!”
I turn my back on her,
Drink to the health of other girls –
Which makes her very cross.
And soon she nestles beside me:
“Any more of them?”
“As you see, almost three tankards
Of pure malt beer! –
That’s not too much for me!”
Then she smiles at me slyly:
“You’re a real man!”
She summons the waiter, shouts for wine,
Drinks my health and fills my glass,
Real bouquet and sparkle.
She pays for both wine and beer,
And I, good-humoured once more,
Lead her out of the inn
On my arm, like a cavalier,
Everyone doffs his hat.
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

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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