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Lied des Orpheus, als er in die Hölle ging (1816) D474

Lied des Orpheus, als er in die Hölle ging

Wälze dich hinweg, du wildes Feuer!
Diese Saiten hat ein Gott gekrönt;
Er, mit welchem jedes Ungeheuer,
Und vielleicht die Hölle sich versöhnt.
Diese Saiten stimmte seine Rechte:
Fürchterliche Schatten, flieht!
Und ihr winselnden Bewohner dieser Nächte
Horchet auf mein Lied!
Von der Erde, wo die Sonne leuchtet
Und der stille Mond,
Wo der Tau das junge Moos befeuchtet,
Wo Gesang im grünen Felde wohnt;
Aus der Menschen süssem Vaterlande,
Wo der Himmel euch so frohe Blicke gab
Ziehen mich die schönsten Bande,
Ziehet mich die Liebe selbst herab.
Meine Klage tönt in eure Klage;
Weit von hier geflohen ist das Glück;
Aber denkt an jene Tage,
Schaut in jene Welt zurück!
Wenn ihr da nur einen Leidenden umarmtet,
O, so fühlt die Wollust noch einmal
Und der Augenblick, in dem ihr euch erbarmtet,
Lindre diese lange Qual.
O, ich sehe Tränen fliessen!
Durch die Finsternisse bricht
Ein Strahl von Hoffnung; ewig büssen
Lassen euch die guten Götter nicht.
Götter, die für euch die Erde schufen,
Werden aus der tiefen Nacht
Euch in selige Gefilde rufen,
Wo die Tugend unter Rosen lacht

Song of Orpheus as he enters hell

Roll back, savage fire!
These strings have been crowned by a god;
with whom every monster
and perhaps hell itself is reconciled.
His right hand tunes these strings;
flee, dread shadows!
And you, whimpering inhabitants of this darkness,
listen to my song!
From earth, where the sun
and the silent moon shine,
where dew moistens fresh moss,
where song dwells in green fields;
From the sweet country of mankind, where
the heavens once looked upon you with joyful gaze,
I am drawn by the fairest of ties,
I am drawn down by love itself.
My lament mingles with yours,
happiness has fled far from here;
but remember those days,
look back into that world!
If there you embraced but one sufferer,
then feel desire once more,
and may that moment when you took pity
soothe my long torment.
O, I see tears flowing!
Through the darkness
a ray of hope breaks; the good gods
will not let you atone for ever.
The gods who created the earth for you
will call you from deep night
into the Elysian fields
where virtue smiles amid roses.

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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 Georg Jacobi was a German poet.
The elder brother of the philosopher Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, Johann Georg was born at Pempelfort near Düsseldorf. He studied theology at Göttingen and jurisprudence at Helmstedt, and was appointed, in 1766, professor of philosophy in Halle. In this year he made the acquaintance of J. W. L. Gleim, who, attracted by the young poets Poetische Versuche (1764), became his friend. A lively literary correspondence ensued between Gleim in Halberstadt and Jacobi in Halle. In order to have Jacobi near him, Gleim succeeded in procuring for him a prebendal stall at the cathedral of Halberstadt in 1769, and here Jacobi issued a number of anacreontic lyrics and sonnets that were not at all appreciated by the intellectuals of his time. Herder called Jacobi's anacreontic poetry tasteless nonsense, Goethe criticised the jingling verses as only impressing women, and Lichtenberg ridiculed Jacobi as a doctorem jubilatum.

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