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Am Fenster (1912)

Am Fenster

Ich hab’ empor gesehen und geglaubt,
Im Fenster dort ging’ auf der Sonne Glanz;
Die Brust noch drinnen, vorgelehnt das Haupt,
Ums schöne Haar schlang sich ein Veilchenkranz.
Gib acht, Signor, daß ich dich nicht verwunde.
Du trägst der Liebe Waffen auf dem Haupt.
Zwei Löckchen sind auf deinem Haupt zu sehn,
Blickst du empor, so ist’s um dich geschehn.

At the window

I looked up and I thought
I saw the glowing sun rising at the window;
Her breasts were still inside, her head leaned forward,
A wreath of violets encircled her beautiful hair.
Beware, Signor, that I do not wound you.
You bear love’s weapons on your head.
Two small curls can be seen on your brow,
If you look up, you are done for.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Joseph Rupert Rudolf Marx was an Austrian composer and critic.

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Paul Johann Ludwig von Heyse was a distinguished German writer and translator. A member of two important literary societies, the Tunnel über der Spree in Berlin and Die Krokodile in Munich, he wrote novels, poetry, 177 short stories, and about sixty dramas. The sum of Heyse's many and varied productions made him a dominant figure among German men of letters. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1910 "as a tribute to the consummate artistry, permeated with idealism, which he has demonstrated during his long productive career as a lyric poet, dramatist, novelist and writer of world-renowned short stories." Wirsen, one of the Nobel judges, said that "Germany has not had a greater literary genius since Goethe." Heyse is the fifth oldest laureate in literature, after Doris Lessing, Theodor Mommsen, Alice Munro and Jaroslav Seifert.

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