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Phidile (1816) D500


Ich war erst sechzehn Sommer alt,
Unschuldig und nichts weiter,
Und kannte nichts als unsern Wald,
Als Blumen, Gras und Kräuter.
Da kam ein fremder Jüngling her;
Ich hatt’ ihn nicht verschrieben,
Und wusste nicht wohin noch her;
Der kam und sprach von Lieben.
Und sein Gesicht, wie Milch und Blut!
Ich hab’s nie so gesehen;
Auch was er sagte, war sehr gut,
Nur konnt’ ich’s nicht verstehen.
Er ging mir allenthalben nach,
Und drückte mir die Hände,
Und sagte immer O und Ach,
Und küsste sie behende.
Ich sah ihn einmal freundlich an,
Und fragte, was er meinte;
Da fiel der junge schöne Mann
Mir um den Hals und weinte.
Das hatte niemand noch getan;
Doch war’s mir nicht zuwider
Und meine beiden Augen sahn
In meinen Busen nieder.
Ich sagt’ ihm nicht ein einzig Wort,
Als ob ich’s übel nähme,
Kein einzig’s, und – er flohe fort;
Wenn er doch wieder käme!


I was only sixteen summers old,
nothing more than an innocent,
and knew nothing but our woods,
flowers, grass and herbs.
Then a youthful stranger came along;
I had not bid him come
and knew not whence he came.
He came and spoke of love.
And his face, like milk and blood!
I have never seen such a face,
And what he said was also very fine
Even if I couldn’t understand it.
He followed me everywhere,
and pressed my hands,
and kept saying ‘Oh’ and ‘Alas’,
and kissed them quickly.
One day I looked at him kindly
and asked what he meant;
then the fair young man
fell upon my neck and wept.
No one had ever done that;
but I did not find it unpleasant,
and my two eyes
looked down at my bosom.
I did not say a single word to him
to indicate that I took it amiss,
not a single word – and he fled;
if only he would come back again!

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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.

Information from Wikipedia. Read more here.

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Matthias Claudius was a German poet, most notable for Der Mond ist aufgegangen (The Moon Has Risen) and editor of the journal Der Wandsbecker Bothe

After studying at Jena, Claudius held a series of editorial and minor official positions in Copenhagen and Darmstadt until in 1788 he acquired a sinecure in the Schleswig-Holstein bank. He edited the Wandsbecker Bothe (1771–75), popular not only with a general readership, for whose enlightenment it was designed, but also with the most important literary men of the time. Among the journal’s contributors were the philosopher Johann Gottfried von Herder, the poet Friedrich Klopstock, and the critic and dramatist Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, the three of whom, with Claudius, formed a circle that fought against the prevailing rationalist and Classical spirit and sought to preserve a natural and Christian atmosphere in literature. Claudius’ own poems, e.g., Der Tod und das Mädchen, have a naive, childlike, and devoutly Christian quality.

Taken from Encyclopedia Britannica. To view the full Britannica article, please click here


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