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Erstarrung (1827)

Part of a series or song cycle:

Winterreise (D911)


Ich such’ im Schnee vergebens 
Nach ihrer Tritte Spur,
Wo sie an meinem Arme 
Durchstrich die grüne Flur.
Ich will den Boden küssen, 
Durchdringen Eis und Schnee 
Mit meinen heissen Tränen, 
Bis ich die Erde seh’.
Wo find’ ich eine Blüte,
Wo find’ ich grünes Gras? 
Die Blumen sind erstorben, 
Der Rasen sieht so blass.
Soll denn kein Angedenken
Ich nehmen mit von hier?
Wenn meine Schmerzen schweigen, 
Wer sagt mir dann von ihr?
Mein Herz ist wie erstorben, 
Kalt starrt ihr Bild darin: 
Schmilzt je das Herz mir wieder, 
Fliesst auch ihr Bild dahin.


In vain I seek
her footprints in the snow, 
where she walked on my arm 
through the green meadows.
I will kiss the ground 
and pierce ice and snow 
with my burning tears, 
until I see the earth.
Where shall I find a flower? 
Where shall I find green grass? 
The flowers have died,
the grass looks so pale.
Shall I, then, take
no memento from here? 
When my sorrows are stilled 
who will speak to me of her?
My heart is as dead,
her image coldly rigid within it; 
if my heart ever melts again 
her image, too, will flow away.

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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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Johann Ludwig Wilhelm Müller was a German lyric poet.
Wilhelm Müller was born on October 7, 1794 at Dessau, the son of a tailor. He was educated at the gymnasium of his native town and at the University of Berlin, where he devoted himself to philological and historical studies. In 1813-1814 he took part, as a volunteer in the Prussian army, in the national rising against Napoleon. He participated in the battles of Lützen, Bautzen, Hanau and Kulm. In 1814 he returned to his studies at Berlin. From 1817 to 1819, he visited southern Germany and Italy, and in 1820 published his impressions of the latter in Rom, Römer und Römerinnen. In 1819, he was appointed teacher of classics in the Gelehrtenschule at Dessau, and in 1820 librarian to the ducal library. He remained there the rest of his life, dying of a heart attack aged only 32.

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