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Der Unglückliche (1821) D713

Der Unglückliche

Die Nacht bricht an, mit leisen Lüften sinket
Sie auf die müden Sterblichen herab;
Der sanfte Schlaf, des Todes Bruder, winket,
Und legt sie freundlich in ihr täglich Grab.
Jetzt wachet auf der lichtberaubten Erde
Vielleicht nur noch die Arglist und der Schmerz,
Und jetzt, da ich durch nichts gestöret werde,
Lass deine Wunden bluten, armes Herz.
Versenke dich in deines Kummers Tiefen,
Und wenn vielleicht in der zerrissnen Brust
Halb verjährte Leiden schliefen,
So wecke sie mit grausam süsser Lust.
Berechne die verlornen Seligkeiten,
Zähl’ alle, alle Blumen in dem Paradies,
Woraus in deiner Jugend goldnen Zeiten
Die harte Hand des Schicksals dich verstiess.
Du hast geliebt, du hast das Glück empfunden,
Dem jede Seligkeit der Erde weicht.
Du hast ein Herz, das dich verstand, gefunden,
Der kühnsten Hoffnung schönes Ziel erreicht.
Da stürzte dich ein grausam Machtwort nieder,
Aus deinen Himmeln nieder, und dein stilles Glück,
Dein allzuschönes Traumbild kehrte wieder
Zur besser’n Welt, aus der es kam, zurück.
Zerrissen sind nun alle süssen Bande,
Mir schlägt kein Herz mehr auf der weiten Welt.

The Unhappy One

Night falls, descending with light breezes
upon weary mortals;
gentle sleep, death’s brother, beckons,
and lays them fondly in their daily graves.
Now only malice and pain
perchance watch over the earth, robbed of light;
and now, since nothing may disturb me,
let your wounds bleed, poor heart.
Plunge to the depths of your grief,
and if perchance half-forgotten sorrows
have slept in your anguished heart,
awaken them with cruelly sweet delight.
Consider your lost happiness,
count all the flowers in paradise,
from which, in the golden days of your youth,
the harsh hand of fate banished you.
You have loved, you have experienced a happiness
which eclipses all earthly bliss.
You have found a heart that understands you,
your wildest hopes have attained their fair goal.
Then the cruel decree of authority dashed you down
from your heaven, and your tranquil happiness,
your all-too-lovely dream vision, returned
to the better world from which it came.
Now all the sweet bonds are torn asunder;
no heart now beats for me in the whole world.

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Composer

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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Poet

Karoline Pichler, also spelled Caroline Pichler, was an Austrian novelist. She was born in Vienna to Hofrat Franz Sales von Greiner (1730–1798) and his wife Charlotte, née Hieronimus (1739–1815).

In 1796, Karoline married Andreas Pichler, a government official, and the brother of Anton Pichler, the owner of the Viennese publisher and printer A. Pichlers Witwe & Sohn. For many years her salon was the centre of the literary life in the Austrian capital, frequented by Beethoven, Schubert, Friedrich von Schlegel and Grillparzer, among many others, from 1802 to 1824. As a young girl she had met Haydn, and she was a pupil of Mozart, who regularly performed music at the Greiners' residence. She died in Vienna in 1843 and 50 years after her death was reburied at the Zentralfriedhof.

Her early works, Olivier, first published anonymously (1802), Idyllen (1803) and Ruth (1805), though displaying considerable talent, were immature. She made her mark in historical romance, and the first of her novels of this class, Agathocles (1808), an answer to Edward Gibbon's attack on that hero in his The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, attained great popularity. Among her other novels may be mentioned Die Belagerung Wiens (1824); Die Schweden in Prag (1827); Die Wiedereroberung Wiens (1829) and Henriette von England (1832). Her last work was Zeitbilder (1840). Her autobiography in four volumes, Denkwürdigkeiten aus meinem Leben (Memorables from my Life) was published posthumously in 1844. Pichler's Complete Works consist of 60 volumes.

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