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Der blinde Knabe (1825) D833

Der blinde Knabe

O sagt, ihr Lieben, mir einmal,
Welch Ding ist’s, Licht genannt?
Was sind des Sehens Freuden all’
Die niemals ich gekannt?
Die Sonne, die so hell ihr seht,
Mir Armen scheint sie nie;
Ihr sagt, sie auf- und niedergeht,
Ich weiss nicht, wann noch wie.
Ich mach’ mir selbst so Tag wie Nacht
Dieweil ich schlaf’ und spiel’,
Mein inn’res Leben schön mir lacht,
Ich hab’ der Freuden viel.
Zwar kenn’ ich nicht, was euch erfreut,
Doch drückt mich keine Schuld,
Drum freu’ ich mich in meinem Leid
Und trag’ es mit Geduld.
Ich bin so glücklich, bin so reich
Mit dem, was Gott mir gab,
Bin wie ein König froh, obgleich
Ein armer, blinder Knab’.

The Blind Boy

O say! What is that thing call’d light,
which I must ne’er enjoy;
what are the blessings of the sight,
O tell your poor blind boy!
You talk of wondrous things you see,
you say the sun shines bright;
I feel him warm, but how can he
or make it day or night?
My day or night myself I make
when e’er I sleep or play;
and could I ever keep awake
with me ’twere always day.
With heavy sighs I often hear
you mourn my hapless woe;
but sure with patience I can bear
a loss I ne’er can know.
Then let not what I cannot have
my cheer of mind destroy:
whilst thus I sing, I am a king,
although a poor blind boy.

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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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Jacob Nicolaus Craigher de Jachelutta was an Austrian poet and translator.  

He met Schubert in 1825 and gave him three of his poems to set, Die junge Nonne (D828), Totengräbers Heimwehe (D842), and Der blinde Knabe (D833), which was his translation of The Blind Boy by the English playwright and Poet Laureate, Colley Cibber.

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Colley Cibber was an English actor-manager, playwright and Poet Laureate. 

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Colley Cibber was an English actor-manager, playwright and Poet Laureate. 

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