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Das Bild (1815) D155

Das Bild

Ein Mädchen ist’s, das früh und spät
Mir vor der Seele schwebet,
Ein Mädchen, wie es steht und geht
Aus Himmelsreiz gewebet.
Ich seh’s, wenn in mein Fenster mild
Der junge Morgen blinket,
Ich seh’s, wenn lieblich wie das Bild
Der Abendstern mir winket.
Mir folgt’s, ein treuer Weggenoss’,
Zur Ruh’ und in’s Getümmel;
Ich fänd’ es in der Erde Schooss,
Ich fänd’ es selbst im Himmel.
Es schwebt vor mir in Feld und Wald,
Prangt über’m Blumenbeete,
Und glänzt in Seraphims Gestalt
Am Altar, wo ich bete.
Allein das Bild, das spät und früh
Mir vor der Seele schwebet,
Ist’s nur Geschöpf der Phantasie,
Aus Luft und Traum gewebet?
O nein, so warm auch Liebe mir
Das Engelbildniss malet,
Ist’s doch nur Schatten von der Zier,
Die an dem Mädchen strahlet.

The Image

Day and night I see a maiden
in my mind’s eye;
a maiden who stands and moves,
woven from heaven’s charms.
I see her when, through my window,
the new morning shines gently;
I see her when the evening star, as sweet
as her image, beckons to me.
She follows me, a faithful companion,
through calm and turmoil;
I would find her in the depths of the earth,
or even in the sky.
She hovers before me in the fields and the woods;
she appears radiantly above the flower beds,
and shines, in the form of a seraph,
at the altar where I pray.
But this image, which day and night
hovers before my mind’s eye,
is it only a figment of my imagination,
woven from air and dreams?
Oh no, fondly though my love
paints this angelic vision,
the vision is but a shadow of the beauty
which irradiates the maiden.

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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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