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Die Frauen sind oft fromm und still (1889) Op. 21 no.5

Die Frauen sind oft fromm und still

Die Frauen sind oft fromm und still, wo wir ungebärdig toben,
Und wenn sich eine stärken will, dann blickt sie stumm nach oben.
Ihr’ Kraft und Stärke ist gering, ein Lüftchen kann sie knicken,
Doch ist’s ein eignes, starkes Ding, wenn sie gen Himmel blicken.
Oft hab’ ich selbst mit aufgesehn, sah die Mutter so nach oben,
Ich sah nur graue Wolken gehn und blaue Luft da droben,
Sie aber, wenn sie niedersah, war voller Kraft und Hoffen,
Mir ist, die Frauen hie und da sehn noch den Himmel offen.

Women are often devout and quiet

Women are often devout and quiet, when we rage without control,
And when a woman needs strength, she looks silently toward heaven.
Their power and strength are slight, a breath of wind can break them,
Yet it’s a special sign of strength, when they look up to heaven.
I have often looked up also, when my mother looked up to heaven,
I only saw grey clouds scudding and blue sky above,
But she, when she looked down again, was filled with strength and hope,
I think that women, now and then, can still see heaven open wide.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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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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Felix Dahn was a German law professor, author, poet and historian.

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