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Zufriedenheit ‘Lied’ (1816) D501

Zufriedenheit ‘Lied’

Ich bin vergnügt, im Siegeston
Verkünd’ es mein Gedicht,
Und mancher Mann mit seiner Kron’
Und Szepter ist es nicht.
Und wär’ er’s auch; nun, immerhin!
Mag er’s! so ist er, was ich bin.
Des Sultans Pracht, des Mogols Geld
Des Glück, wie hiess er doch,
Der, als er Herr war von der Welt,
Zum Mond hinauf sah noch?
Ich wünsche nichts von alle dem,
Zu lächeln drob fällt mir bequem.
Zufrieden sein, das ist mein Spruch!
Was hülf’ mir Geld und Ehr?
Das, was ich hab’, ist mir genug,
Wer klug ist, wünscht nichts sehr;
Denn, was man wünschet, wenn man’s hat,
So ist man darum doch nicht satt.
Recht tun und edel sein und gut
Ist mehr als Geld und Ehr;
Da hat man immer guten Mut
Und Freude um sich her,
Und man ist stolz und mit sich eins,
Scheut kein Geschöpf und fürchtet keins.

Contentment 'Song'

I am happy, my verses
proclaim it triumphantly,
and many a man with his crown
and sceptre is not.
And even if he is, well, all the better!
Let him be: he is as I am.
The sultan’s splendour, the mogul’s wealth,
the good fortune of – what was his name?
He who, when ruler of the world,
still gazed up at the moon.
I desire none of that;
I prefer to smile at it.
To be content, that is my motto!
What use would I have for wealth and honour?
What I have is enough for me.
He who is wise does not desire much;
for when people have what they desire
they are still not satisfied with it.
To do right, to be generous and good,
is more than wealth and honour;
such a man is always in good spirits,
with joy around him;
he is proud and at one with himself,
shuns no creature and fears nothing.

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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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