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Befreit (1898) Op.39 no.4

Befreit

Du wirst nicht weinen. Leise, leise
wirst du lächeln und wie zur Reise
geb’ ich dir Blick und Kuß zurück.
Unsre lieben vier Wände, du hast sie bereitet,
ich habe sie dir zur Welt geweitet;
O Glück!
Dann wirst du heiß meine Hände fassen
und wirst mir deine Seele lassen,
läßt unsern Kindern mich zurück.
Du schenktest mir dein ganzes Leben,
ich will es ihnen wieder geben;
O Glück!
Es wird sehr bald sein, wir wissen’s beide,
wir haben einander befreit vom Leide,
so gab’ ich dich der Welt zurück!
Dann wirst du mir nur noch im Traum erscheinen
und mich segnen und mit mir weinen;
O Glück!

Released

You will not weep. Gently, gently
you will smile; and as before a journey
I shall return your gaze and kiss.
You have cared for the room we love!
I have widened these four walls for you into a world –
O happiness!
Then ardently you will seize my hands
and you will leave me your soul,
leave me to care for our children.
You gave your whole life to me,
I shall give it back to them –
O happiness!
It will be very soon, we both know it,
we have released each other from suffering,
so I returned you to the world.
Then you’ll appear to me only in dreams,
and you will bless me and weep with me –
O happiness!
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

Composer

Richard Georg Strauss was a German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is particularly well-known for his operas, Lieder, and tone poems. 

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Poet

Richard Fedor Leopold Dehmel was a German poet and writer. His poems use a range of metrical patterns, and have been set to music by composers such as Richard Strauss, Arnold Schoenberg, and Kurt Weill. His poetry often focused on themes of love and sensuality, and he was tried for obscenity and blasphemy in the late 1890s.


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