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Am Fenster (1826) D878

Am Fenster

Ihr lieben Mauern, hold und traut, 
Die ihr mich kühl umschliesst, 
Und silberglänzend nieserschaut, 
Wenn droben Vollmond ist!
Ihr saht mich einst so traurig da, 
Mein Haupt auf schlaffer Hand, Als 
ich in mir allein mich sah, 
Und Keiner mich verstand.
Jetzt brach ein ander Licht heran, 
Die Trauerzeit ist um,
Und Manche zieh’n mit mir die Bahn 
Durch’s Lebensheiligtum.
Sie raubt der Zufall ewig nie 
Aus meinem treuen Sinn, 
In tiefster Seele trag’ ich sie, 
Da reicht kein Zufall hin.
Du Mauer wähnst mich trüb wie einst, 
Das ist die stille Freud;
Wenn du vom Mondlicht widerscheinst, 
Wird mir die Brust so weit.
An jedem Fenster wähn’ ich dann 
Ein Freundeshaupt, gesenkt,
Das auch so schaut zum Himmel an, 
Das auch so meiner denkt.

At the window

Dear, familiar walls,
you enclose me within your coolness, 
and gaze down with silvery sheen 
when the full moon shines above. 
Once you saw me here so sad,
head buried in weary hands, 
looking only within myself, 
understood by no one.
Now a new light has dawned, 
the time of sadness is past, 
and many join me on my path 
through this sacred life. 
Chance will never steal them 
from my faithful heart;
I carry them deep in my soul, 
where fate cannot penetrate.
Wall, you imagine I am as gloomy as I once was: 
that is my silent joy.
When you reflect the moonlight
my heart swells.
Then I imagine I see at every window 
a friendly face, lowered,
that then gazes heavenwards, 
thinking of me too.
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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