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Songs

Songs

Um Mitternacht (Mahler, Gustav) (1901)


Part of a series or song cycle:

Rückert-Lieder


Um Mitternacht (Mahler, Gustav)

Um Mitternacht
Hab’ ich gewacht
Und aufgeblickt zum Himmel;
Kein Stern vom Sterngewimmel
Hat mir gelacht
Um Mitternacht.
Um Mitternacht
Hab’ ich gedacht
Hinaus in dunkle Schranken.
Es hat kein Lichtgedanken
Mir Trost gebracht
Um Mitternacht.
Um Mitternacht
Nahm ich in acht
Die Schläge meines Herzens;
Ein einz’ger Puls des Schmerzes
War angefacht
Um Mitternacht.
Um Mitternacht
Kämpft’ ich die Schlacht,
O Menschheit, deiner Leiden;
Nicht konnt’ ich sie entscheiden
Mit meiner Macht
Um Mitternacht.
Um Mitternacht
Hab’ ich die Macht
In deine Hand gegeben!
Herr! über Tod und Leben
Du hältst die Wacht
Um Mitternacht!

At midnight

At midnight
I kept watch
And looked up to heaven;
Not a star in the galaxy
Smiled on me
At midnight.
At midnight
My thoughts went out
To the dark reaches of space;
No shining thought
Brought me comfort
At midnight.
At midnight
I paid heed
To the beating of my heart;
A single pulse of pain
Was set alight
At midnight.
At midnight
I fought the battle,
O Mankind, of your afflictions;
I could not gain victory
By my own strength
At midnight.
At midnight
I gave my strength
Into Thy hands!
Lord over life and death,
Thou keepest watch
At midnight.
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).

Taken from Wikipedia. To view the full article, please click here.


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