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Schwangesang (1815) D318


Endlich stehn die Pforten offen,
Endlich winkt das kühle Grab,
Und nach langem Fürchten, Hoffen,
Neig’ ich mich die Nacht hinab.
Durchgewacht sind nun die Tage
Meines Lebens, süsse Ruh’
Drückt nach ausgeweinter Klage
Mir die müden Wimpern zu.
Ewig wird die Nacht nicht dauern,
Ewig dieser Schlummer nicht.
Hinter jenen Gräberschauern
Dämmert unauslöschlich Licht.
Aber bis das Licht mir funkle,
Bis ein schön’rer Tag mir lacht,
Sink’ ich ruhig in die dunkle,
Stille, kühle Schlummernacht!

Swan Song

At last the gates are open;
at last the cool grave beckons,
and after long fears and hopes
I drift down towards night.
I have watched
through the days of my life;
after weeping in lamentation, sweet peace
closes my weary eyelids.
The night will not last for ever,
nor will this sleep.
Beyond the terror of the grave
an eternal light dawns.
But until that light shines for me,
until a fairer day smiles upon me,
I will sink peacefully
into the cool, silent night of sleep.

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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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Ludwig Gotthard Kosegarten, also known as Ludwig Theobul or Ludwig Theoboul, was a German poet and Lutheran preacher.

Kosegarten was born in Grevesmühlen, in the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. After studying theology at the University of Greifswald, he served as the pastor of Altenkirchen on the island of Rügen, then part of Swedish Pomerania.

After his ordination in 1792 he was given the rectorate in the parish church of Altenkirchen on Rügen. In this capacity he gave the famous shore sermons on the cliffs near Vitt. He went there to the herring fishermen, who during the time of herring fishing could not go to the church in Altenkirchen due to their work. These sermons were a great success, which is why the Vitt Chapel was erected in 1806. During his stay on Rügen he wrote many reports about the island, that made both Rügen and Kosegarten famous.

Kosegarten's books were burned at the Wartburg festival on 18 October 1817. He influenced the work of Philipp Otto Runge, Caspar David Friedrich, and the music of Franz Schubert.

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