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Dichters Genesung (1840) Op. 36 no.5

Part of a series or song cycle:

Sechs Gedichte aus dem Liederbuch eines Malers (Op. 36)

Dichters Genesung

Und wieder hatt’ ich der Schönsten gedacht,
Die nur in Träumen bisher ich gesehen;
Es trieb mich hinaus in die lichte Nacht,
Durch stille Gründe mußt ich gehen.
Da auf einmal
Glänzte das Tal,
Schaurig als wär es ein Geistersaal.
Da rauschten zusammen zur Tanzmelodei
Der Strom und die Winde mit Klingen und Zischen,
Da weht’ es im flüchtigen Zuge herbei
Aus Felsen und Tale, aus Wellen und Büschen,
Und im Mondesglanz
Ein weißer Kranz,
Tanzten die Elfen den Reigentanz.
Und mitten im Kreis ein luftiges Weib,
Die Königin war es, ich hörte sie singen:
„Laß ab von dem schweren irdischen Leib!
Laß ab von den törichten irdischen Dingen!
Nur im Mondenschein
Ist Leben allein!
Nur im Träumen zu schweben, ein ewiges Sein!
„Ich bin’s, die in Träumen du oft gesehn,
Ich bin’s, die als Liebchen du oft besungen,
Ich bin es, die Elfenkönigin,
Du wolltest mich schauen, es ist dir gelungen.
Nun sollst du mein
Auf ewig sein,
Komm mit, komm mit in den Elfenreihn!“
Schon zogen, schon flogen sie all um mich her,
Da wehte der Morgen, da bin ich genesen.
Fahr wohl nun, du Elfenkönigin,
Jetzt will ein andres Lieb ich mir erlesen;
Ohn Trug und Schein
Und von Herzen rein
Wird wohl auch für mich eins zu finden sein!

The poet's recovery

And once again I thought of my beloved,
Whom till then I had seen but in dreams;
I was drawn out into the bright night,
I had to wander through silent valleys:
Then suddenly
The valley began to gleam
Eerily, like a hall full of ghosts.
The river and winds whistled together a dance melody
With a hissing and a roar.
A fleeting throng came rushing by
From rocks and valleys, bushes and waves,
And in the moonlight,
Like a white ring,
The elves began to dance their rounds.
And I heard in their midst an airy maiden,
The Queen of the Elves, begin to sing:
‘Leave your heavy earthly body!
Leave all foolish earthly things!
Only in moonlight
Can true life be found!
Eternity only in floating dreams!
‘I am she you’ve often seen in dreams,
I am she you’ve often hymned as your love,
I am the Queen of the Elves,
You wanted to see me—your wish is fulfilled!
You shall now be mine
For evermore,
Come, come dance with me in our fairy circle!’
They were fluttering and flying all around me now,
The dawn wind blew, and I recovered.
Farewell now, O Queen of the Elves,
For now I shall choose another love;
Without deceit and wiles,
And pure of heart,
There must be one out there for me!
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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Robert Reinick was a German painter and poet, associated with the Düsseldorf school of painting. One of his poems, Dem Vaterland, was set to music by Hugo Wolf.

Reinick was born in Danzig (Gdańsk) and died in Dresden.

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