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Songs

Songs

An den Mond in einer Herbstnacht (1818) D614

An den Mond in einer Herbstnacht

Freundlich ist dein Antlitz, 
Söhn des Himmels!
Leis sind deine Tritte 
Durch des Äthers Wüste, 
Holder Nachtgefährte!
Dein Schimmer ist sanft und erquickend, 
Wie das Wort des Trostes
Von des Freundes Lippe,
Wenn ein schrecklicher Geier
An der Seele nagt.
Manche Träne siehst du,
Siehst so manches Lächeln,
Hörst der Liebe trauliches Geflüster, 
Leuchtest ihr auf stillem Pfade; 
Hoffnung schwebt auf deinem Strahle, 
Herab zum stillen Dulder,
Der verlassen gebt auf bedorntem Weg.
Du siehst auch meine Freunde, 
Zerstreut in fernen Landen; 
Du giessest deinen Schimmer 
Auch auf die frohen Hügel,
Wo ich oft als Knabe hüpfte, 
Wo oft bei deinem Lächeln 
Ein unbekanntes Sehnen 
Mein junges Herz ergriff.
Du blickst auch auf die Stätte, 
Wo meine Lieben ruhn,
Wo der Tau fällt auf ihr Grab, 
Und die Gräser drüber weh’n 
In dem Abendhauche.
Doch dein Schimmer dringt nicht
In die dunkle Kammer,
Wo sie ruhen von des Lebens Müh’n, 
Wo auch ich bald ruhen werde!
Du wirst geh’n und Wiederkehren,
Du wirst seh’n noch manches Lächeln, 
Dann werd’ ich nicht mehr lächeln, 
Dann werd’ ich nicht mehr weinen, 
Mein wird man nicht mehr gedenken 
Auf dieser schönen Erde.

To the Moon on an Autumn Night

Your face is kind,
son of heaven.
Softly you move
through the airy waste,
fair companion of the night.
Your shimmering light is gentle and refreshing, 
like a word of comfort
from the lips of a friend
when a terrifying vulture
gnaws at the soul.
You see many a tear
and many a smile;
you hear lovers’ intimate whispers
as you shine for them on their quiet way; 
on your beams hope streams down
to the silent sufferer,
wandering all alone on the thorny path.
You see my friends, too, 
scattered in distant lands;
you shed your light
upon the happy hills
where I often played as a boy, 
and where, as you smiled down, 
an unknown longing
often seized my youthful heart.
You gaze also upon the place 
where my loved ones rest,
where the dew falls on their graves 
and the grass above them
blows in the evening breeze.
But your light does not penetrate 
the dark chamber
where they rest from life’s toil, 
and where I, too, shall soon rest. 
You will go and return again, 
you will see many more smiles. 
Then I shall smile
and weep no more;
I will no longer be remembered 
on this fair earth.

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Composer

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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Poet

Aloys Wilhelm Schreiber was a German professor of aesthetics, court historian, author, playwright, and travel writer. He had seven children with his wife, Maria Anna Joubert, including mathematician Guido Schreiber.


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About Oxford Lieder

Oxford Lieder is one of the world's leading promoters of song and the winner of a prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award. The focal point of each year is the two-week Oxford Lieder Festival in October.

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