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Elysium (1817) D584


Vorüber die stöhnende Klage!
Elysium’s Freudengelage
Ersäufen jegliches Ach.
Elysium’s Leben
Ewige Wonne, ewiges Schweben
Durch lachende Fluren ein flötender Bach.
Jugendlich milde
Beschwebt die Gefilde
Ewiger Mai;
Die Stunden entfliehen in goldenen Träumen,
Die Seele schwillt aus in unendlichen Räumen.
Wahrheit reisst hier den Schleier entzwei.
Unendliche Freude
Durchwallet das Herz.
Hier mangelt der Name dem trauernden Leide
Sanftes Entzücken nur heisset man Schmerz.
Hier strecket der wallende Pilger die matten
Brennenden Glieder in säuselnden Schatten,
Leget die Bürde auf ewig dahin –
Seine Sichel entfällt hier dem Schnitter,
Eingesungen von Harfengezitter
Träumt er, geschnittene Halme zu sehn.
Dessen Fahne Donnerstürme wallte,
Dessen Ohren Mordgebrüll umhallte,
Berge bebten unter dessen Donnergang,
Schläft hier linde bei des Baches Rieseln,
Der wie Silber spielet über Kieseln;
Ihm verhallet wilder Speere Klang.
Hier umarmen sich getreue Gatten,
Küssen sich auf grünen samtnen Matten,
Liebgekost vom Balsamwest;
Ihre Krone findet hier die Liebe,
Sicher vor des Todes strengem Hiebe
Feiert sie ein ewig Hochzeitfest.


Cease all plaintive moaning!
Elysian banquets
drown all suffering.
Elysian life
is eternal bliss, eternal lightness, a melodious
stream flowing through smiling meadows.
Eternal May,
young and tender,
hovers over the landscape;
the hours fly past in golden dreams,
the soul expands in infinite space.
Here truth rends the veil.
Endless joy
fills the heart.
Here grieving sorrow has no name;
and rapture that is but gentle seems like pain.
Here the pilgrim stretches his weary,
burning limbs in the murmuring shade,
and lays down his burden for ever.
The reaper’s sickle falls from his hand;
lulled to sleep by quivering harps
he dreams he sees blades of mown grass.
He whose standard raged with violent storms,
whose ears rang with murderous cries, and beneath
whose thunderous steps mountains quaked,
sleeps gently here by the babbling stream
that plays like silver over the pebbles.
For him the violent clash of spears grows faint.
Here faithful couples embrace
and kiss on the green velvet sward
caressed by the balmy west wind.
Here love finds its crown;
safe from the cruel stroke of death
it celebrates an eternal wedding feast.

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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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Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller was a German poet, philosopher, physician, historian, and playwright. During the last seventeen years of his life (1788–1805), Schiller struck up a productive, if complicated, friendship with the already famous and influential Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. They frequently discussed issues concerning aesthetics, and Schiller encouraged Goethe to finish works he left as sketches. This relationship and these discussions led to a period now referred to as Weimar Classicism. They also worked together on Xenien, a collection of short satirical poems in which both Schiller and Goethe challenge opponents to their philosophical vision.

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