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Das Mädchen aus der Fremde (1814) D117

Das Mädchen aus der Fremde

In einem Tal bei armen Hirten
Erschien mit jedem jungen Jahr,
Sobald die ersten Lerchen schwirrten,
Ein Mädchen schön und wunderbar.
Sie war nicht in dem Tal geboren,
Man wusste nicht, woher sie kam,
Doch schnell war ihre Spur verloren,
Sobald das Mädchen Abschied nahm.
Beseligend war ihre Nähe,
Und alle Herzen wurden weit,
Doch eine Würde, eine Höhe
Entfernte die Vertraulichkeit.
Sie brachte Blumen mit und Früchte,
Gereift auf einer andern Flur,
In einem andern Sonnenlichte,
In einer glücklichern Natur.
Und teilte jedem eine Gabe,
Dem Früchte, jenem Blumen aus,
Der Jüngling und der Greis am Stäbe,
Ein jeder ging beschenkt nach Haus.
Willkommen waren alle Gäste,
Doch nahte sich ein liebend Paar,
Dem reichte sie der Gabe beste,
Der Blumen allerschönste dar.

The Maiden from Strange Parts

To poor shepherds in a valley
appeared each spring
with the first soaring larks,
a strange and lovely maiden.
She had not been born in the valley.
No one knew from where she came.
But when the maiden departed
they soon lost trace of her.
Her very presence was blissful
and all hearts opened to her,
yet her dignity, her loftiness,
precluded familiarity.
She brought flowers and fruit
ripened in other fields,
under another sun
in a happier countryside.
She bestowed her gifts on all,
fruit on one, flowers on another;
the youth, the old man with his stick,
each one went home enriched.
All guests were welcome,
but if a loving couple approached
she would give them her finest gifts,
the fairest flowers of all.

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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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Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller was a German poet, philosopher, physician, historian, and playwright. During the last seventeen years of his life (1788–1805), Schiller struck up a productive, if complicated, friendship with the already famous and influential Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. They frequently discussed issues concerning aesthetics, and Schiller encouraged Goethe to finish works he left as sketches. This relationship and these discussions led to a period now referred to as Weimar Classicism. They also worked together on Xenien, a collection of short satirical poems in which both Schiller and Goethe challenge opponents to their philosophical vision.

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