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Liebe kam aus fernen Landen (1861) Op. 33

Part of a series or song cycle:

Die schöne Magelone (Op. 33 )

Liebe kam aus fernen Landen

Liebe kam aus fernen Landen
Und kein Wesen folgte ihr,
Und die Göttin winkte mir,
Schlang mich ein mit süßen Banden.
Da begann ich Schmerz zu fühlen,
Tränen dämmerten den Blick:
"Ach! was ist der Liebe Glück"
Klagt' ich, "wozu dieses Spielen?"
"Keinen hab' ich weit gefunden,"
Sagte lieblich die Gestalt,
"Fühle du nun die Gewalt,
Die die Herzen sonst gebunden."
Alle meine Wünsche flogen
In der Lüfte blauen Raum,
Ruhm schien mir ein Morgentraum,
Nur ein Klang der Meereswogen.
Ach! wer löst nun meine Ketten?
Denn gefesselt ist der Arm,
Mich umfleucht der Sorgen Schwarm;
Keiner, keiner will mich retten?
Darf ich in den Spiegel schauen,
Den die Hoffnung vor mir hält?
Ach, wie trügend ist die Welt!
Nein, ich kann ihr nicht vertrauen.
O, und dennoch laß nicht wanken,
Was dir nur noch Stärke gibt,
Wenn die Einzge dich nicht liebt,
Bleib nur bittrer Tod dem Kranken.

Love came from far-off lands

Love came from far-off lands
And no one followed her,
And the goddess beckoned me,
Binding me in sweet bonds.
Then I began to feel pain,
Tears dimmed my eyes:
'Ah! what is love's happiness',
'I lamented, why this dallying?'
'Far and wide no man I've found,'
Said the vision lovingly,
'Now you shall feel the force
That once bound heart to heart.'
All my desires flew
Into the blue realm of breezes,
Fame seemed but a morning dream,
The sound of ocean waves.
Ah! who shall now loosen my chains?
For my arms are fettered,
Sorrows swarm all around me;
Will no one, no one rescue me?
Dare I look into the mirror
That hope holds up before me?
Ah! how deceptive is the world!
No, I cannot trust it.
And yet, do not allow
Your sole source of strength to falter,
If your only love does not love you,
For the sick only bitter death remains.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Johannes Brahms (7 May 1833 – 3 April 1897) was a German composer, pianist, and conductor of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna. 

Brahms has been considered, by his contemporaries and by later writers, as both a traditionalist and an innovator. His music is firmly rooted in the structures and compositional techniques of the Classical masters. While many contemporaries found his music too academic, his contribution and craftsmanship have been admired by many. 

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Johann Ludwig Tieck (31 May 1773 – 28 April 1853) was a German poet, fiction writer, translator, and critic. He was one of the founding fathers of the Romantic movement in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. 

You can read more about him here.

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