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Songs

Songs

Der Page (1840) Op. 30 no.2


Part of a series or song cycle:

Drei Gedichte von Emanuel Geibel (Op. 30)


Der Page

Da ich nun entsagen müssen
Allem, was mein Herz erbeten,
Lass mich diese Stelle küssen,
Die dein schöner Fuss betreten.
Darf ich auch als Ritter nimmer
Dir beglückt zur Seite schreiten,
Lass mich doch als Pagen immer
In die Messe dich begleiten.
Will ja treu sein und verschwiegen,
Tags dem kleinsten Winke lauschen,
Nachts auf deiner Schwelle liegen,
Mag auch Sturm und Hagel rauschen.
Will dir stets mit sitt’gem Grüssen
Morgens frische Rosen bringen,
Will des Abends, dir zu Füssen,
Lieder zur Gitarre singen.
Will den weissen Renner zäumen,
Wenn’s dich lüstet frisch zu jagen,
Will dir in des Waldes Räumen
Dienend Speer und Falken tragen;
Will auf deinen Liebeswegen
Selbst den Fackelträger machen,
Und am Tor mit blankem Degen,
Wenn du andre küssest, wachen.
Und das Alles ohne Klage,
Ohne Flehn, nicht laut noch leise,
Wenn mir nach vollbrachtem Tage
Nur ein Lächeln wird zum Preise.
Wenn gleich einem Segensterne,
Der mein ganzes Wesen lenket,
Nur dein Aug’ aus weiter Ferne
Einen einz’gen Strahl mir schenket.

The Page

Since I must now renounce
All my heart’s desire,
Let me kiss this spot,
Where your sweet foot has trod.
And if I may never as a knight
Walk joyously by your side,
Let me always as a page
Escort you into mass.
For I will be faithful and discreet,
Daily obey your slightest whim,
Nightly lie outside your door,
Even in hail or storm.
Always with a modest greeting
I’ll bring fresh flowers each morning,
And every evening at your feet
Sing you songs to my guitar.
And I shall bridle the white courser,
When it pleases you to hunt,
And in the forest’s wide spaces
I shall carry your spear and falcon;
And I shall be your torch-bearer,
When you go to meet your lover,
And at the gate with naked dagger
I’ll keep watch, when you kiss another.
And do all this without complaining,
Without a sigh, loud or soft,
If when every day is ended,
A single smile be my reward.
If, like blessed starlight,
Guiding all my being,
You bestow on me from afar
Just a single glance.
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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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

Emanuel von Geibel , German poet and playwright.
He was born at Lübeck, the son of a pastor. He was originally intended for his father's profession and studied at Bonn and Berlin, but his real interests lay not in theology but in classical and romance philology. In 1838 he accepted a tutorship at Athens, where he remained until 1840. In the same year he published, in conjunction with his friend Ernst Curtius, a volume of translations from Greek. His first poems were published in a volume entitled Zeitstimmen in 1841. In 1842 he entered the service of Frederick William IV, the king of Prussia, with an annual stipend of 300 thalers; under whom he produced König Roderich (1843), a tragedy, König Sigurds Brautfahrt (1846), an epic, and Juniuslieder (1848), lyrics in a more spirited and manlier style than his early poems.

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