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Irdisches Glück (1828) D866

Part of a series or song cycle:

Vier Refrainlieder (D866)

Irdisches Glück

So mancher sieht mit finst’rer Miene 
Die weite Welt sich grollend an,
Des Lebens wunderbare Bühne
Liegt ihm vergebens aufgetan.
Da weiss ich besser mich zu nehmen, 
Und fern, der Freude mich zu schämen, 
Geniess’ ich froh den Augenblick:
Das ist denn doch gewiss ein Glück.
Um manches Herz hab ich geworben,
Doch währte mein Triumph nicht lang,
Denn Blödheit hat mir oft verdorben,
Was kaum mein Frohsinn mir errang.
D’rum bin ich auch dem Netz entgangen;
Denn, weil kein Wahn mich hielt umfangen
Kam ich von keinem auch zurück:
Und das ist doch gewiss ein Glück!
Und ruft der Bot’ aus jenen Reichen 
Mir einst, wie allen, ernst und hohl, 
Dann sag ich willig, im Entweichen, 
Der schönen Erde „Lebe wohl!“
Sei’s denn, so drücken doch am Ende 
Die Hand mir treue Freundeshände, 
So segnet doch mich Freundesblick: 
Und das ist, Brüder, doch ein Glück!

Earthly happiness

So many people look with grim faces 
and resentment on the wide world; 
life’s wondrous stage
lies open to them, though in vain.
But I know better what to do,
and, far from being ashamed of joy, 
I gladly delight in the moment: 
that, for sure, is happiness.
I have wooed many a heart,
Though my triumph did not last long,
For my stupidity often ruined
What my cheerful spirit had only just won.
And so I escaped the net;
For since no illusion held me captive,
I had none to escape from:
And that for sure, is happiness.
When one day a messenger from the world beyond 
calls me, as he does all, with grave, hollow voice, 
then, in parting, I shall gladly
bid this lovely world farewell.
Maybe, after all, the hands of true friends 
will at the end press my hand,
and friendly eyes will bless me:
and that, brothers, is surely happiness!
Translations by Richard Wigmore first published by Gollancz and reprinted in the Hyperion Schubert Song Edition

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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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