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Mädchen-Schwermut (1840) Op. 142 no.3

Part of a series or song cycle:

Vier Gesänge (Op. 142)


Kleine Tropfen, seid ihr Tränen
An den Blumenkelchen da?
Oder war’s des Herzens Sehnen,
Das die Blumen weinen sah?
Frühlingssäuseln, wehst die Klagen
In das zarte junge Grün?
Oder hör’ nur ich es fragen:
Wo sind deine Freuden hin?
Gottes Augen seid ihr nimmer,
Sternlein in dem Himmelszelt!
Ach, es strahlt kein Trostesschimmer
In die freudenlose Welt!

A girl's melancholy

The dew shining on the flower-cups
Looks like tears;
To sad eyes,
Even flowers seem to be weeping.
The wind breathing along the fresh green leaves
Sounds like a lament;
To sad ears,
Even spring breezes seem like a sigh for lost love.
Yet to the sad soul the stars in the night sky
Do not seem like the presence of God;
There can be no gleam of comfort
In this joyless world.
Translation by Eric Sams

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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.

Taken from wikipedia. To read the rest of the article, please click here.

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Lily Bernhard is a little known poet, but thought to be a close friend of Clara Schumann. 

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