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Songs

Songs

Blicke mir nicht in die Lieder! (1901)


Part of a series or song cycle:

Rückert-Lieder


Blicke mir nicht in die Lieder!

Blicke mir nicht in die Lieder!
Meine Augen schlag’ ich nieder,
Wie ertappt auf böser Tat.
Selber darf ich nicht getrauen,
Ihrem Wachsen zuzuschauen.
Deine Neugier ist Verrat!
Bienen, wenn sie Zellen bauen,
Lassen auch nicht zu sich schauen,
Schauen selbst auch nicht zu.
Wenn die reichen Honigwaben
Sie zu Tag gefördert haben,
Dann vor allen nasche du!

Do not look into my songs!

Do not look into my songs!
I lower my gaze,
As if caught in the act.
I dare not even trust myself
To watch them growing.
Your curiosity is treason.
Bees, when they build cells,
Let no one watch either,
And do not even watch themselves.
When the rich honeycombs
Have been brought to daylight,
You shall be the first to taste!
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

Composer

Gustav Mahler (7 July 1860 – 18 May 1911) was an Austro-Bohemian late-Romantic composer and conductor.

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Poet

Friedrich Rückert was a German poet, translator, and professor of Oriental languages.

Rückert was born at Schweinfurt and was the eldest son of a lawyer. He was educated at the local Gymnasium and at the universities of Würzburg and Heidelberg. From 1816–1817, he worked on the editorial staff of the Morgenblatt at Stuttgart. Nearly the whole of the year 1818 he spent in Rome, and afterwards he lived for several years at Coburg (1820–1826). Rückert married Luise Wiethaus-Fischer there in 1821. He was appointed a professor of Oriental languages at the University of Erlangen in 1826, and, in 1841, he was called to a similar position in Berlin, where he was also made a privy councillor. In 1849 he resigned his professorship at Berlin, and went to live full-time in his Gut (estate) at Neuses (now a part of Coburg).

When Rückert began his literary career, Germany was engaged in her life-and-death struggle with Napoleon; and in his first volume, Deutsche Gedichte (German Poems), published in 1814 under the pseudonym Freimund Raimar, he gave, particularly in the powerful Geharnischte Sonette (Sonnets in Arms/Harsh Words), vigorous expression to the prevailing sentiment of his countrymen. During 1815 to 1818 appeared Napoleon, eine politische Komödie in drei Stücken (Napoleon, a Political Comedy in Three Parts) of which only two parts were published; and in 1817 Der Kranz der Zeit (The Wreath of Time).

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