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Maienthau (1837) Op. 23 no.2


Auf den Wald und auf die Wiese,
Mit dem ersten Morgengrau,
Träuft ein Quell vom Paradiese,
Leiser, frischer Maientau;
Was den Mai zum Heiligtume
Jeder süßen Wonne schafft,
Schmelz der Blätter, Glanz der Blume,
Würz und Duft, ist seine Kraft.
Mit dem Tau der Maienglocken
Wascht die Jungfrau ihr Gesicht,
Badet sie die goldnen Locken,
Und sie glänzt von Himmelslicht;
Selbst ein Auge, rot geweinet,
Labt sich mit den Tropfen gern,
Bis ihm freundlich niederscheinet,
Taugetränkt, der Morgenstern.
Sink denn auch auf mich hernieder,
Balsam du für jeden Schmerz!
Netz auch mir die Augenlider!
Tränke mir mein dürstend Herz!
Gib mir Jugend, Sangeswonne,
Himmlischer Gebilde Schau,
Stärke mir den Blick zur Sonne,
Leiser, frischer Maientau!

May Dew

On forest and meadow
At the break of dawn,
A fountain from Paradise descends,
Silent, fresh May dew;
Its essence makes May a sanctuary
Of every sweet rapture:
Mellow leaves, gleaming flowers,
Spice and fragrance.
The maiden washes her face
And bathes her golden locks,
With lily-of-the-valley dew
And she gleams with celestial light;
Even her eyes, red with tears,
Love to bathe in the drops,
Till drenched with dew, the morning star
Casts on them its friendly gaze.
Shed on me too your balm
That assuages every pain!
Moisten my eyelids too!
Quench my thirsting heart!
Give me youth, the bliss of song,
The display of heavenly forms,
Help me to gaze into the sun,
Silent, fresh May dew!

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Sir William Sterndale Bennett (13 April 1816 – 1 February 1875) was an English composer, pianist, conductor and music educator. At the age of ten Bennett was admitted to the London Royal Academy of Music (RAM), where he remained for ten years. By the age of twenty, he had begun to make a reputation as a concert pianist, and his compositions received high praise. Among those impressed by Bennett was the German composer Felix Mendelssohn, who invited him to Leipzig. There Bennett became friendly with Robert Schumann, who shared Mendelssohn's admiration for his compositions. Bennett spent three winters composing and performing in Leipzig.

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Johann Ludwig Uhland, was a German poet, philologist and literary historian.
He was born in Tübingen, Württemberg, and studied jurisprudence at the university there, but also took an interest in medieval literature, especially old German and French poetry. Having graduated as a doctor of laws in 1810, he went to Paris for eight months to continue his studies of poetry; and from 1812 to 1814 he worked as a lawyer in Stuttgart, in the bureau of the minister of justice.

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