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Blick vom oberen Belvedere (1942) Op. 88 no.2

Blick vom oberen Belvedere

Fülle du! Gezier- und schöner Geist,
Übersetzt in edelstes Gebreite:
Rechts die Kuppel, links die Kuppel weist
Majestätisch ein dies Bild der Weite.
Ach, wie hatten jene Zeiten Kraft,
Rohes und Wildes in die Kunst zu heben!
Irdischer Gesetzlichkeit entrafft,
Engten sie und weiteten das Leben.
Gehn nicht die Terrassen ab und an
Reifrockdamen, sanft hofiert von
Eindrucksicher steifen Kavalieren?
Nein, die Gärten zaubern holden Wahn.
Ganz verging dies Planen, Lächeln, Lieben—
Gilb und weh—nur Schönheit ist geblieben.

View from the Upper Belvedere

What abundance! Artificial and fine intellect
Translated into the most noble of panoramas:
Domes to the left and to the right present
Majestically this picturesque expanse.
Ah, how those times were able
To raise the rough and uncouth into art!
Wrested from man-made conformity,
They concentrated and expanded life.
Crinolined ladies, gently courted
By confident and formal cavaliers—
Do they not walk up and down the terraces?
No, the gardens evoke a charming illusion.
Gone for ever are these schemes, smiles and loves—
Yellow and sad—only beauty remains.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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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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