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Das Geheimnis (1815) D250

Das Geheimnis

Sie konnte mir kein Wörtchen sagen,
Zu viele Lauscher waren wach;
Den Blick nur durft’ ich schüchtern fragen,
Und wohl verstand ich, was er sprach.
Leis’ komm’ ich her in deine Stille,
Du schön belaubtes Buchenzelt,
Verbirg in deiner grünen Hülle
Die Liebenden dem Aug’ der Welt!
Von ferne mit verworr’nem Sausen
Arbeitet der geschäft’ge Tag,
Und durch der Stimmen hohles Brausen
Erkenn’ ich schwerer Hämmer Schlag.
So sauer ringt die kargen Lose
Der Mensch dem harten Himmel ab:
Doch leicht erworben aus dem Schosse
Der Götter fällt das Glück herab.

The Secret

She could not speak one word to me,
there were too many listening;
I could only shyly question the look in her eyes,
and well understood what it meant.
Softly I approach your silence,
leafy beech grove;
beneath your green cloak
conceal the lovers from the eyes of the world.
Far away, in whirring confusion,
the bustling day is at work,
and through the empty buzz of voices
I discern the beat of heavy hammers.
Thus man toils to wrest his meagre lot
from a cruel heaven.
Yet happiness is easily won,
falling from the lap of the gods.

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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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