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Naturgenuss (1815) D188


Im Abendschimmer wallt der Quell
Durch Wiesenblumen purpurhell;
Der Pappelweide wechselnd Grün
Weht ruhe lispelnd drüber hin.
Im Lenzhauch webt der Geist des Herrn! Sieh!
Auferstehung nah’ und fern,
Sieh! Jugendfülle, Schönheitsmeer,
Und Wonnetaumel rings umher!
Ich blicke her, ich blicke hin,
Und immer höher schwebt mein Sinn.
Nur Tand sind Pracht und Gold und Ruhm,
Natur, in deinem Heiligtum.
Des Himmels Ahnung den umweht,
Der deinen Liebeston versteht,
Doch, an dein Mutterherz gedrückt,
Wird er zum Himmel selbst entzückt

Delight in Nature

In the soft light of evening the brook flows
through meadows of bright, purple flowers;
the poplar, with its changing shades of green,
whispers gently above them.
God’s spirit stirs in the spring breeze;
behold life’s resurrection, near and far,
see, youth’s abundance, a sea of beauty
and teeming joys lie all around.
I look about me, close and far away,
and my soul soars ever higher.
Pomp, gold and fame are but dross
in your sanctuary, Nature!
Intimations of heaven envelop him
who understands your music of love;
for he, pressed to your maternal breast,
will know the delight of heaven itself!

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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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