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Schatzgräbers Begehr (1822) D761

Schatzgräbers Begehr

In tiefster Erde ruht ein alt Gesetz,
Dem treibt mich’s rastlos immer nachzuspüren;
Und grabend kann ich Andres nicht vollführen.
Wohl spannt auch mir die Welt ihr goldnes Netz,
Wohl tönt auch mir der Klugheit seicht Geschwätz:
„Du wirst die Müh’ und Zeit umsonst verlieren;“
Das soll mich nicht in meiner Arbeit irren,
Ich grabe glühend fort, so nun, wie stets.
Und soll mich nie des Findens Wonne laben,
Sollt’ ich mein Grab mit dieser Hoffnung graben:
Ich steige gern hinab, gestillt ist dann mein Sehnen.
Drum lasset Ruhe mir in meinem Streben!
Ein Grab mag man wohl jedem gerne geben,
Wollt ihr es denn nicht mir, ihr Lieben, gönnen?

The Treasure-Hunter's desire

Deep in the earth sleeps an old law.
I feel a restless, ceaseless urge to seek it out,
and as I dig I can accomplish nothing else.
Let the world spread its golden net to lure me, too;
Let wisdom’s shallow prattle ring in my ears:
‘You are wasting your time and efforts to no avail!’
That shall not turn me aside from my labour;
I go on digging ardently, now as ever.
And even if the joy of discovery never rewards me,
if I am digging my own grave with this hope,
yet will I gladly climb down, for then my longing will be stilled.
So leave me in peace with my endeavour.
Surely a grave is gladly given to every man;
will you then not grant me one, friends?
Translations by Richard Wigmore first published by Gollancz and reprinted in the Hyperion Schubert Song Edition

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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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Franz Adolf Friedrich Schober, since 1801 von Schobe, was an Austrian poet, librettist, lithographer, actor in Breslau and Legationsrat in Weimar.

Schober was born to Austrian parents in Sweden. Educated in the Schnepfenthal Salzmann School, Akademisches Gymnasium (Vienna) and Kremsmünster Abbey, he returned to Vienna, where he began to study philosophy and met the composer Franz Schubert, his friends Johann Mayrhofer, Joseph von Spaun and the painters Leopold Kupelwieser and Moritz von Schwind. Between 1823 and 1825, Schober was an actor at the theatre in Breslau under the pseudonym "Torupson". In the 1840s, Schober was in close contact with Franz Liszt. In 1856 he married the author Thekla von Gumpert; afterwards he lived in Budapest, Munich and Dresden.

Schober wrote lyric poetry and in 1821 the libretto for Schubert's opera Alfonso und Estrella.

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