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An die Sonne (1816) D439

An die Sonne

O Sonne, Königin der Welt,
Die unser dunkles Leben erhellt,
O Sonne, Königin der Welt,
Die unser dunkles Rund erhellt,
In lichter Majestät;
Erhab’nes Wunder einer Hand,
Die jene Himmel ausgespannt
Und Sterne hingesät!
Noch heute seh’ ich deinen Glanz,
Mir lacht in ihrem Blumenkranz
Noch heute die Natur.
Der Vögel buntgefiedert Heer
Singt morgen mir vielleicht nicht mehr
Im Wald und auf der Flur.
Ich fühle, dass ich sterblich bin,
Mein Leben welkt wie Gras dahin,
Wie ein verschmachtend Laub.
Wer weiss, wie unerwartet bald
Des höchsten Wort an mich erschallt:
Komm wieder in den Staub!

To the Sun

O sun, queen of the world,
who lights our dark lives –
O sun, queen of the world,
who lights our dark round
in shining majesty;
sublime marvel of a hand
which spread out the distant heavens
and strewed the stars within them!
Today I can still see your radiance;
in its garlands of flowers
nature still smiles upon me today.
Tomorrow the bright-feathered hosts of birds
may never again sing to me
in the woods and the meadows.
I feel that I am mortal;
my life withers away like grass,
like languishing leaves.
Who knows how unexpectedly, how soon
the voice of the Almighty will ring out to me:
‘Return to the dust!’
Translations by Richard Wigmore first published by Gollancz and reprinted in the Hyperion Schubert Song Edition

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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 Peter Uz, German poet.

He was born at Ansbach. He studied law in 1739-43 at the university of Halle, where he associated with the poets Johann Gleim and Johann Nikolaus Götz, and in conjunction with the latter translated the odes of Anacreon (1746).

In 1748 Uz was appointed unpaid secretary to the Justizcollegium, an office he held for twelve years; in 1763 he became assessor to the imperial court of justice at Nuremberg, in 1790 was made a judge.

A monument to Uz stands in the Ansbach Court Garden. It was near this monument, in 1833, that Kaspar Hauser was murdered.

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