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Das Sehnen (1815) D231

Das Sehnen

Wehmut, die mich hüllt,
Welche Gottheit stillt
Mein unendlich Sehnen?
Die ihr meine Wimper nässt,
Namenlosen Gram entpresst,
Fliesset, fliesset, Thränen!
Mond, der lieb und traut
In mein Fenster schaut,
Sage, was mir fehle?
Sterne, die ihr droben blinkt,
Holden Gruss mir freundlich winkt,
Nennt mir, was mich quäle.
Ist denn, ach, kein Arm,
Der in Freud’ und Harm
Liebend mich umschlösse?
Ist denn, ach, kein fühlend Herz,
Keines, drin in Lust und Schmerz
Meines sich ergösse?
Die ihr einsam klagt,
Einsam, wenn es tagt,
Einsam, wenn es nachtet,
Ungetröstet, ach, verächzt
Ihr das holde Dasein, lechzt,
Schmachtet und verschmachtet.


Melancholy envelops me;
What divinity can quieten
my unending longing?
It moistens my eyelid,
and calls forth indescribable grief;
flow, flow, tears!
Moon, who lovingly and sweetly
looks through my window,
tell me what is lacking in me?
Stars, who shine from above
and cheerfully signal me with a dear greeting,
tell me what torments me.
Is there, ah, no arm,
which in joy and grief
could lovingly embrace me?
Is there, ah, no tender heart,
none in which I may pour
my pleasure and pain?
You who lament alone,
alone when day dawns,
alone when night falls,
inconsolable; ah, you
despise sweet life, you thirst,
languish and pine away.

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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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Ludwig Gotthard Kosegarten, also known as Ludwig Theobul or Ludwig Theoboul, was a German poet and Lutheran preacher.

Kosegarten was born in Grevesmühlen, in the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. After studying theology at the University of Greifswald, he served as the pastor of Altenkirchen on the island of Rügen, then part of Swedish Pomerania.

After his ordination in 1792 he was given the rectorate in the parish church of Altenkirchen on Rügen. In this capacity he gave the famous shore sermons on the cliffs near Vitt. He went there to the herring fishermen, who during the time of herring fishing could not go to the church in Altenkirchen due to their work. These sermons were a great success, which is why the Vitt Chapel was erected in 1806. During his stay on Rügen he wrote many reports about the island, that made both Rügen and Kosegarten famous.

Kosegarten's books were burned at the Wartburg festival on 18 October 1817. He influenced the work of Philipp Otto Runge, Caspar David Friedrich, and the music of Franz Schubert.

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