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Aufträge (1850) Op. 77 no.5

Part of a series or song cycle:

Lieder und Gesänge, iii (Op. 77)


Nicht so schnelle, nicht so schnelle!
Wart ein wenig, kleine Welle!
Will dir einen Auftrag geben
An die Liebste mein.
Wirst du ihr vorüberschweben,
Grüsse sie mir fein!
Sag, ich wär mitgekommen,
Auf dir selbst herab geschwommen:
Für den Gruss einen Kuss
Kühn mir zu erbitten,
Doch der Zeit Dringlichkeit
Hätt es nicht gelitten.
Nicht so eilig! halt! erlaube,
Kleine, leichtbeschwingte Taube!
Habe dir was aufzutragen
An die Liebste mein!
Sollst ihr tausend Grüsse sagen,
Hundert obendrein.
Sag, ich wär mit dir geflogen,
Über Berg und Strom gezogen:
Für den Gruss einen Kuss
Kühn mir zu erbitten;
Doch der Zeit Dringlichkeit
Hätt es nicht gelitten.
Warte nicht, dass ich dich treibe,
O du träge Mondesscheibe!
Weisst’s ja, was ich dir befohlen
Für die Liebste mein:
Durch das Fensterchen verstohlen
Grüsse sie mir fein!
Sag, ich wär auf dich gestiegen,
Selber zu ihr hinzufliegen;
Für den Gruss einen Kuss
Kühn mir zu erbitten,
Du seist schuld, Ungeduld
Hätt mich nicht gelitten.


Not so fast, not so fast!
Wait a moment, little wave!
I’ve a message to give you
For my sweetheart.
If you glide past her,
Greet her fondly!
Say I’d have come too,
Sailing on your back:
And would have boldly
Begged a kiss for my greeting,
But pressing time
Did not allow it.
Not so fast! Stop! Allow me,
Little light-winged dove,
To entrust you with something
For my sweetheart!
Give her a thousand greetings,
And a hundred more.
Say, I’d have flown with you
Over mountain and river:
And would have boldly
Begged a kiss for my greeting,
But pressing time
Did not allow it.
Don’t wait for me to drive you on,
You lazy old moon!
You know what I ordered you to do
For my sweetheart:
Peep secretly through the window-pane
And give her my love!
Say I’d have climbed on you
And flown to her in person:
And would have boldly
Begged a kiss for my greeting,
That it’s my fault
Impatience did not allow it.
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Robert Schumann was a German composer and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law, intending to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist. He had been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the finest pianist in Europe, but a hand injury ended this dream. Schumann then focused his musical energies on composing.

Schumann's published compositions were written exclusively for the piano until 1840; he later composed works for piano and orchestra; many Lieder (songs for voice and piano); four symphonies; an opera; and other orchestral, choral, and chamber works. Works such as KinderszenenAlbum für die JugendBlumenstück, the Sonatas and Albumblätter are among his most famous. His writings about music appeared mostly in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (New Journal for Music), a Leipzig-based publication which he jointly founded.

In 1840, Schumann married Friedrich Wieck's daughter Clara, against the wishes of her father, following a long and acrimonious legal battle, which found in favor of Clara and Robert. Clara also composed music and had a considerable concert career as a pianist, the earnings from which formed a substantial part of her father's fortune.

Schumann suffered from a lifelong mental disorder, first manifesting itself in 1833 as a severe melancholic depressive episode, which recurred several times alternating with phases of ‘exaltation’ and increasingly also delusional ideas of being poisoned or threatened with metallic items. After a suicide attempt in 1854, Schumann was admitted to amental asylum, at his own request, in Endenich near Bonn. Diagnosed with "psychotic melancholia", Schumann died two years later in 1856 without having recovered from his mental illness.

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