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O Mensch! Gib Acht! [Fourth movement of Mahler's 3rd Symphony] (1893)

O Mensch! Gib Acht! [Fourth movement of Mahler's 3rd Symphony]

O Mensch! Gib Acht!
Was spricht die tiefe Mitternacht?
‘Ich schlief, ich schlief –,
Aus tiefem Traum bin ich erwacht: –
Die Welt ist tief,
Und tiefer als der Tag gedacht.
Tief ist ihr Weh –,
Lust – tiefer noch als Herzeleid:
Weh spricht: Vergeh!
Doch alle Lust will Ewigkeit –,
– will tiefe, tiefe Ewigkeit!’

O Man! Take Heed!

O Man! Take heed!
What does the deep midnight say?
‘I was asleep, asleep –,
I have awoken from deep dreams: –
The world is deep,
And deeper than the day imagined.
Deep is its grief!
Joy, deeper still than heartache!
Grief says: Perish!
But all joy seeks eternity –,
– seeks deep, deep eternity!’
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Composer

Gustav Mahler (7 July 1860 – 18 May 1911) was an Austro-Bohemian late-Romantic composer and conductor.

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Poet

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a German philosopher, cultural critic, poet, philologist, and Latin and Greek scholar whose work has exerted a profound influence on Western philosophy and modern intellectual history.


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