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Songs

Songs

Stirb’, Lieb’ und Freud’! (1840) Op.35 no.2


Part of a series or song cycle:

Zwölf Gedichte von Justinus Kerner (Op.35)


Stirb’, Lieb’ und Freud’!

Zu Augsburg steht ein hohes Haus,
Nah’ bei dem alten Dom,
Da tritt am hellen Morgen aus
Ein Mägdelein gar fromm;
Gesang erschallt,
Zum Dome wallt
Die liebe Gestalt.
Dort vor Marias heilig’ Bild
Sie betend niederkniet,
Der Himmel hat ihr Herz erfüllt,
Und alle Weltlust flieht:
„O Jungfrau rein!
Lass mich allein
Dein eigen sein!“
Alsbald der Glocken dumpfer Klang
Die Betenden erweckt,
Das Mägdlein wallt die Hall’ entlang,
Es weiss nicht, was es trägt;
Am Haupte ganz
Von Himmelsglanz,
Einen Lilienkranz.
Mit Staunen schauen all’ die Leut’
Dies Kränzlein licht im Haar.
Das Mägdlein aber wallt nicht weit,
Tritt vor den Hochaltar:
„Zur Nonne weiht
Mich arme Maid!
Stirb’, Lieb’ und Freud’!“
Gott, gib, dass dieses Mägdelein
Ihr Kränzlein friedlich trag’,
Es ist die Herzallerliebste mein,
Bleibt’s bis zum jüngsten Tag.
Sie weiss es nicht,
Mein Herz zerbricht,
Stirb’, Lieb’ und Licht!

Die, Love and Joy

In Augsburg stands a lofty house
By the old cathedral,
And out into the shining morn
Comes a pious maid.
Hymns ring out,
To the cathedral goes
That lovely one.
By Mary’s blessed image
She kneels to pray,
Her heart is filled with Heaven,
All earthly joy flees:
‘O Virgin pure,
Grant that I be
Yours alone.’
And as muffled bells
Call the worshippers,
Down the aisle walks the maid,
Not knowing what she wears:
Upon her head,
All Heavenly bright,
A lily crown.
All gaze and marvel
At that bright crown in her hair.
But the maid does not go far,
To the high altar she steps:
‘Make me a nun,
Poor maid that I am!
Die, love and joy!’
God grant that maid
Wear her crown in peace;
My true love she is,
And may she still be till Judgement Day.
She does not know
My heart breaks
Die, love and light!
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

Composer

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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Poet

Justinus Andreas Christian Kerner was a German poet, practicing physician, and medical writer.

He was born at Ludwigsburg in Württemberg. After attending the classical schools of Ludwigsburg and Maulbronn, he was apprenticed in a cloth factory, but, in 1804, owing to the good services of Professor Karl Philipp Conz, was able to enter the University of Tübingen. He studied medicine but also had time for literary pursuits in the company of Ludwig Uhland, Gustav Schwab and others. He took his doctor's degree in 1808, spent some time travelling, and then settled as a practising physician in Wildbad.

Here he completed his Reiseschatten von dem Schattenspieler Luchs (1811), in which his own experiences are described with caustic humour. He next collaborated with Uhland and Schwab in the Poetischer Almanach for 1812, which was followed by the Deutscher Dichterwald (1813), and in these some of Kerner's best poems were published. In 1815 he obtained the official appointment of district medical officer (Oberamtsarzt) in Gaildorf, and in 1818 was transferred to Weinsberg, where he spent the rest of his life.

Taken from Wikipedia. To view the full article, please click here.


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