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Auf dem Flusse (1827)

Part of a series or song cycle:

Winterreise (D911)

Auf dem Flusse

Der du so lustig rauschtest,
Du heller, wilder Fluss, 
Wie still bist du geworden, 
Gibst keinen Scheidegruss.
Mit harter, starrer Rinde 
Hast du dich überdeckt, 
Liegst kalt und unbeweglich 
Im Sande ausgestreckt.
In deine Decke grab’ ich
Mit einem spitzen Stein
Den Namen meiner Liebsten 
Und Stund’ und Tag hinein:
Den Tag des ersten Grusses, 
Den Tag, an dem ich ging, 
Um Nam’ und Zahlen windet 
Sich ein zerbrochner Ring.
Mein Herz, in diesem Bache 
Erkennst du nun dein Bild? 
Ob’s unter seiner Rinde
Wohl auch so reissend schwillt?

On the River

You who rippled so merrily, 
clear, boisterous river,
how still you have become; 
you give no parting greeting.
With a hard, rigid crust
you have covered yourself; 
you lie cold and motionless, 
stretched out in the sand.
On your surface I carve 
with a sharp stone
the name of my beloved, 
the hour and the day.
The day of our first greeting, 
the date I departed.
Around name and figures
a broken ring is entwined.
My heart, do you now recognise 
your image in this brook?
Is there not beneath its crust 
likewise a seething torrent?

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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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