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Lied der Liebe (1814) D109

Lied der Liebe

Durch Fichten am Hügel, durch Erlen am Bach,
Folgt immer dein Bildnis, du Traute! mir nach;
Es lächelt bald Liebe, es lächelt bald Ruh’,
Im freundlichen Schimmer des Mondes, mir zu.
Den Rosengesträuchen des Gartens entwallt
Im Glanze der Frühe die holde Gestalt;
Sie schwebt aus der Berge bepurpurtem Flor
Gleich einem elysischen Schatten hervor.
Oft hab’ ich, im Traume, die schönste der Feen,
Auf goldenem Throne dich strahlen gesehn;
Oft hab’ ich, zum hohen Olympus entzückt,
Als Hebe dich unter den Göttern erblickt.
Mir hallt aus den Tiefen, mir hallt von den Höhn,
Dein himmlischer Name wie Sphärengetön.
Ich wähne den Hauch, der die Blüten umwebt,
Von deiner melodischen Stimme durchbebt.
In heiliger Mitternachtstunde durchkreist
Des Äthers Gefilde mein ahnender Geist.
Geliebte! dort winkt uns ein Land, wo der Freund
Auf ewig der Freundin sich wieder vereint.
Die Freude, sie schwindet, es dauert kein Leid;
Die Jahre verrauschen im Strome der Zeit;
Die Sonne wird sterben, die Erde verkenn:
Doch Liebe muss ewig und ewig besten.

Song of Love

Past spruces on hillsides, through alders by the brook
your image, beloved, follows me always.
To me it smiles now love, now peace
in the kindly glimmer of the moon.
In the brightness of early morning your fair form arises
from the rose bushes in the garden;
it floats from the crimson-flowering mountains
like an Elysian shadow.
Often in dreams I have seen you,
the loveliest of fairies, radiant on your golden throne;
often I have glimpsed you, spirited to lofty Olympus,
as Hebe among the gods.
From the depths, from the heights I hear
your heavenly name echo like music of the spheres;
I imagine the scent enveloping the blossom
shot through with your melodious voice.
At midnight’s holy hour my prescient mind
floats through the realms of the ether.
Beloved! There a land beckons
where lover and beloved are forever reunited.
Joy vanishes, no sorrow endures;
the years flow away in the river of time;
the sun will die, the earth perish:
but love must last for ever and ever.

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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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Friedrich von Matthisson was a German poet, an early member of the German Romantic movement. His best known poem is probably Adelaide, which was set to music by Beethoven.

He was born at Hohendodeleben near Magdeburg, the son of the village pastor, on the 23rd of January 1761. After studying theology and philology at the university of Halle, he was appointed in 1781 master at the classical school Philanthropinum in Dessau. This once famous seminary was, however, then rapidly decaying in public favor, and in 1784 Matthisson was glad to accept a travelling tutorship. He lived for two years with the Swiss author Bonstetten at Nyon on Lake Geneva.

In 1794 he was appointed reader and traveling companion to Princess Louisa of Anhalt-Dessau (wife of Leopold III, Duke of Anhalt-Dessau). They visited Switzerland, Tyrol, and Italy. For a time, they were joined in their travels by Danish author and salonist Friederike Brun. After Princess Louisa's death in 1811, he entered the service of the king of Württemberg, was ennobled, created counselor of legation, appointed intendant of the court theatre and chief librarian of the royal library at Stuttgart. He resided for a time in Italy. In 1828 he retired and settled at Wörlitz near Dessau, where he died on the 12th of March 1831.

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