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Lebensmelodien (1816) D395


Auf den Wassern wohnt mein stilles Leben,
Zieht nur gleiche Kreise, die verschweben,
Und mir schwindet nie im feuchten Spiegel
Der gebogne Hals und die Gestalt.
Ich haus’ in den felsigen Klüften,
Ich braus’ in den stürmenden Lüften,
Vertrauend dem schlagenden Flügel
Bei Jagd bei Kampf und Gewalt.
Ahndevoll betracht’ ich oft die Sterne
In der Flut die tiefgewölbte Ferne,
Und mich zieht ein innig rührend Sehnen
Aus der Heimat in ein himmlisch Land.
Ich wandte die Flügel mit Wonne
Schon früh zur unsterblichen Sonne,
Kann nie an dem Staub mich gewöhnen,
Ich bin mit den Göttern verwandt.
In der Myrten Schatten
Gatte treu dem Gatten
Flattern wir und tauschen
Manchen langen Kuss.
Suchen und irren,
Finden und girren,
Schmachten und lauschen,
Wunsch und Genuss.
Venus Wagen ziehen
Schnäbelnd wir im Fliehen,
Unsre blauen Schwingen
Säumt der Sonne Gold.
O wie es fächelt,
Wenn sie uns lächelt!
Leichtes Gelingen!
Lieblicher Sold!
Wende denn die Stürme,
Schöne Göttin! schirme
Bei bescheidner Freude
Deiner Tauben Paar!
Lass uns beisammen!
Oder in Flammen
Opfre uns beide
Deinem Altar.

Melodies of Life

My tranquil life is on the waters,
drawing equal circles that ripple away to nothing;
and in the damp mirror my curved neck
and my figure never disappear.
I dwell in the rocky crevasses;
I race in the stormy winds,
trusting my beating wings
in the hunt, in battle and in attack.
Often, filled with intuition, I behold the stars
in the deep-vaulted, distant flood,
and I am drawn by a fervent longing
from my home to a heavenly land.
In early youth I turned my wings
with joy towards the immortal sun;
I can never accustom myself to the dust;
I am related to the gods.
In the shade of the myrtles,
spouse true to spouse,
we flutter, and exchange
many a long kiss.
We seek and rove,
find and coo,
languish and listen
with desire and pleasure.
We draw the chariot of Venus,
billing in our flight;
our blue wings
are fringed by the gold of the sun.
How we stir
when she smiles upon us!
Easy success,
a charming reward!
Then avert your storms,
fair goddess! Shield
your pair of doves
in their modest pleasure!
Let us be together,
or sacrifice us both
in flames
upon your altar!

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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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August Wilhelm (after 1812: von) Schlegel, usually cited as August Schlegel, was a German poet, translator, critic, and a foremost leader of Jena Romanticism along with his brother Friedrich Schlegel. His translations of Shakespeare made the English dramatist's works into German classics. Schlegel was also the first professor in Sanskrit on the continent and produced a translation of the Bhagavad Gita.

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