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Auf dem Wasser zu singen (1823) D774

Auf dem Wasser zu singen

Mitten im Schimmer der spiegelnden Wellen
Gleitet, wie Schwäne, der wankende Kahn;
Ach, auf der Freude sanft schimmernden Wellen
Gleitet die Seele dahin wie der Kahn;
Denn von dem Himmel herab auf die Wellen
Tanzet das Abendrot rund um den Kahn.
Über den Wipfeln des westlichen Haines
Winket uns freundlich der rötliche Schein;
Unter den Zweigen des östlichen Haines
Säuselt der Kalmus im rötlichen Schein;
Freude des Himmels und Ruhe des Haines
Atmet die Seel’ im errötenden Schein.
Ach, es entschwindet mit tauigem Flügel
Mir auf den wiegenden Wellen die Zeit.
Morgen entschwinde mit schimmerndem Flügel
Wieder wie gestern und heute die Zeit,
Bis ich auf höherem strahlendem Flügel
Selber entschwinde der wechselnden Zeit.

To be sung on the water

Amid the shimmer of the mirroring waves
the rocking boat glides, swan-like,
on gently shimmering waves of joy.
The soul, too, glides like a boat.
For from the sky the setting sun
dances upon the waves around the boat.
Above the tree-tops of the western grove
the red glow beckons kindly to us;
beneath the branches of the eastern grove
the reeds whisper in the red glow.
The soul breathes the joy of heaven,
the peace of the grove, in the reddening glow.
Alas, with dewy wings
time vanishes from me on the rocking waves.
Tomorrow let time again vanish with shimmering
wings, as it did yesterday and today,
until, on higher, more radiant wings,
I myself vanish from the flux of time.
Translations by Richard Wigmore first published by Gollancz and reprinted in the Hyperion Schubert Song Edition

Composer

Franz Peter Schubert was an late Classical and early Romantic composer. He produced a vast oeuvre during his short life, composing more the 600 vocal works (largely Lieder), and well as several symphonies, operas, and a large body of piano music. He was uncommonly gifted from a young age, but appreciation of his music was limited during his lifetime. His work became more popular in the decades after his death, and was praised by 19th century composers, including Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Liszt.

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Poet

Friedrich Leopold Graf zu Stolberg-Stolberg, was a German poet, lawyer and translator born at Bramstedt in Holstein (then a part of Denmark).
Friedrich Leopold belonged to a cadet branch of the Stolberg family. He was born the son of a Danish magistrate and owner of a manorial estate, Count Christian zu Stolberg. Together with his brother Christian, Friedrich Leopold went to the University of Halle in 1770, in order to study German Law. His other studies embraced the Classics and various historical courses. The two brothers then studied in Göttingen and were a prominent members of the famous Hain or Dichterbund, a society of young men who had high aspirations for the unity of the country, and who cultivated German poetry. After leaving the university the brothers made a journey to Switzerland in company with the famed poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

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