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Songs

Morgenrot (1900) Op. 46 no.4

Morgenrot

Dort wo der Morgenstern hergeht,
Und wo der Morgenwind herweht,
Dort wohnt, nach der mein Herz hinfleht.
Der Aufgang meiner Liebesnoth,
Sie, meiner Hoffnung Freudenroth,
Mein süßes Leben, süßer Tod.
Es reicht dahin kein Blick von mir,
Doch an des Himmels lichter Zier
Seh’ ich den Widerschein von ihr.
Das Morgenrot ist angefacht,
Weil sie vom Schlummer aufgewacht
Und hell den Himmel angelacht.
Die Luft des Aufgangs ist ihr Gruß,
Die Morgensonn’ ihr Liebeskuß,
Der mir das Herz erschließen muß.
Sich dreh’n um’s Haus, allwo sie wohnt,
Die Sonn’ am Tag und nachts der Mond,
Und sind, so oft sie blickt, belohnt.
Die Himmel drehn um Liebe sich,
Die Liebe dreht sich nur um dich,
Und zu dir liebend wend’ ich mich.
Du leuchtend über Berg und Tal,
Von Haupt zu Füssen allzumal
Von Huld ein einz’ger Himmelsstrahl!

Sunrise

Where the morning star rises,
And the morning wind blows,
There she lives, for whom my heart yearns.
The rising of my desperate love,
She – the rosy joy of my hope,
My sweet life, my sweet death.
No look of mine can reach her there,
But in the bright beauty of the sky
I see her face reflected.
The dawn has been set alight,
Because she has awoken from sleep
And smiled brightly at heaven.
The morning air is her greeting,
The morning sun her loving kiss
That will open up my heart.
The sun by day and the moon by night
Revolve round the house where she lives,
And are rewarded whenever she looks at them.
The heavens revolve around love
And love revolves around you alone,
And lovingly I turn to you.
You, shining over mountain and valley,
From your head to your feet
Are a single ray of heavenly grace!
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Composer

Richard Georg Strauss was a German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is particularly well-known for his operas, Lieder, and tone poems. 

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Poet

Friedrich Rückert was a German poet, translator, and professor of Oriental languages.

Rückert was born at Schweinfurt and was the eldest son of a lawyer. He was educated at the local Gymnasium and at the universities of Würzburg and Heidelberg. From 1816–1817, he worked on the editorial staff of the Morgenblatt at Stuttgart. Nearly the whole of the year 1818 he spent in Rome, and afterwards he lived for several years at Coburg (1820–1826). Rückert married Luise Wiethaus-Fischer there in 1821. He was appointed a professor of Oriental languages at the University of Erlangen in 1826, and, in 1841, he was called to a similar position in Berlin, where he was also made a privy councillor. In 1849 he resigned his professorship at Berlin, and went to live full-time in his Gut (estate) at Neuses (now a part of Coburg).

When Rückert began his literary career, Germany was engaged in her life-and-death struggle with Napoleon; and in his first volume, Deutsche Gedichte (German Poems), published in 1814 under the pseudonym Freimund Raimar, he gave, particularly in the powerful Geharnischte Sonette (Sonnets in Arms/Harsh Words), vigorous expression to the prevailing sentiment of his countrymen. During 1815 to 1818 appeared Napoleon, eine politische Komödie in drei Stücken (Napoleon, a Political Comedy in Three Parts) of which only two parts were published; and in 1817 Der Kranz der Zeit (The Wreath of Time).

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