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Songs

Songs

Einsamkeit (D620) (1818)

Einsamkeit (D620)

„Gib mir die Fülle der Einsamkeit!“
Im Tal, von Blüten überschneit,
Da ragt ein Dom, und nebenbei
In hohem Stile die Abtei:
Wie ihr Begründer, fromm und still,
Der müden Hafen und Asyl,
Hier kühlt mit heiliger Betauung,
Die nieversiegende Bschauung.
Doch den frischen Jüngling quälen
Selbst in gottgeweihten Zellen
Bilder, feuriger verjüngt;
Und ein wilder Strom entspringt
Aus der Brust, die er umdämmt,
Und in einem Augenblick
Ist der Ruhe zartes Glück
Von den Wellen weggeschwemmt.
„Gir mir die Fülle der Tätigkeit.“
Menschen wimmeln weit und breit,
Wagen kreuzen sich und stäuben,
Käufer sich um Läden treiben,
Rotes Gold und heller Stein
Lockt die Zögernden hinein,
Und Ersatz für Landesgrüne
Bieten Maskenball und Bühne.
Doch in prangenden Palästen,
Bei der Freude lauten Festen,
Sprießt empor der Schwermut Blume,
Senkt ihr Haupt zum Heiligtume
Seiner Jugend Unschuldlust,
Zu dem blauen Hirtenland
Und der Lichten Quelle Rand,
Ach, daß er hinweggemußt!
„Gib mir das Glück der Geselligkeit.“
Gefährten, freundlich angereiht
Der Tafel, stimmen Chorus an
Und ebenen die Felsenbahn!
So geht’s zum schönen Hügelkranz
Und abwärts zu des Stromes Tanz,
Und immer mehr befestiget sich Neigung
Mit treuer, kräftiger Verzweigung.
Doch, wenn ihm die Freunde schieden,
Ist’s getan um seinen Frieden.
Ihn bewegt der Sehnsucht Schmerz,
Und er schauet himmelwärts:
Das Gestirn der Liebe strahlt.
Liebe, Liebe ruft die laue Luft,
Liebe, Liebe atmet Blumenduft,
Und sein Inn’res Liebe hallt.
„Gib mir die Fülle der Seligkeit “
Nun wandelt er in Trunkenheit
An ihrer Hand in schweigenden Gesprächen,
Im Buchengang, an weißen Bächen,
Und muß er auch durch Wüstenein,
Ihm leuchtet süßer Augen Schein;
Und in der feindlichsten Verwirrung
Vertrauet er der holden Führung.
Doch die Särge großer Ahnen,
Siegerkronen, Sturmesfahnen
Lassen ihn nicht fürder ruh’n:
Und er muß ein Gleiches tun,
Und wie sie unsterblich sein.
Sieh, er steigt aufs hohe Pferd,
Schwingt und prüft das blanke Schwert,
Reitet in die Schlacht hinein.
„Gib mir die Fülle der Düsterkeit.“
Da liegen sie im Blute hingestreut,
Die Lippe starr, das Auge wild gebrochen,
Die erst dem Schrecken Trotz gesprochen.
Kein Vater kehrt den Seinen mehr,
Und heimwärts kehrt ein ander Heer,
Und denen Krieg das Teuerste genommen,
Begrüssen nun mit schmerzlichem Willkommen!
So deucht ihm des Vaterlandes Wächter
Ein ergrimmter Bruderschlächter,
Der der Freiheit edel Gut
Düngt mit rotem Menschenblut.
Und er flucht dem tollen Ruhm
Und tauschet lärmendes Gewühl
Mit dem Forste, grün und kühl,
Mit dem Waldesleben um.
„Gib mir die Weihe der Einsamkeit.“
Durch dichte Tannendunkelheit
Dringt Sonnenblick nur halb und halb,
Und färbet Nadelschichten falb.
Der Kuckuck ruft aus Zweiggeflecht,
An grauer Rinde pickt der Specht,
Und donnernd über Klippenhemmung
Ergeht des Gießbachs kühne Strömung.
Was er wünschte, was er liebte,
Ihn erfreute, ihn betrübte,
Schwebt mit sanfter Schwärmerei
Wie um Abendrot vorbei.
Jünglings Sehnsucht, Einsamkeit,
Wird dem Greisen nun zuteil,
Und ein Leben rauh und steil
Führte doch zur Seligkeit.

Solitude

‘Give me my fill of solitude.’
In the valley covered with snowy blossom
A cathedral soars up, and nearby
The abbey in gothic style:
Like its founder, devout and calm,
The haven and refuge of the weary.
Unending contemplation here
Brings the dew of sacred refreshment to the spirit.
Yet the young man is tormented,
Even in his God-consecrated cell,
By images of ever more ardent longing;
A wild torrent bursts
From the breast, which he seeks to stem—
And in a single instant
The joy of fragile peace
Is swept away by the waves.
‘Give me my fill of activity.’
People throng far and wide,
Coaches pass each other, raising dust,
Customers crowd round shops,
Red gold and glistening stones
Lure the hesitant inside,
Masked balls and plays
Take the place of green countryside.
But in magnificent palaces,
Amid the clamour of joyous feasts
Melancholy’s flower springs up,
Inclines its head to the sanctuary
Of his happy, innocent youth,
To the blue land of shepherds
And the edge of the bright stream.
Alas that he had to depart!
‘Give me my fill of good company.’
Companions, cheerfully seated
At table, strike up in chorus
To smooth the rocky path!
Thus they continue up to the fair hills
And down to the dancing river,
And affections grow ever stronger
By true and powerful attachments.
But when friends have departed
His peace is shattered.
Moved by the pain of longing,
He gazes heavenward;
Love’s constellation shines.
Love calls in the balmy air,
Love blows from the flowers’ fragrance,
And his innermost being quivers with love.
‘Give me my fill of rapture.’
Now he walks, intoxicated,
Holding her hand in silent communion,
Along the beech-tree avenue, by the clear brook,
And though he must traverse desert places,
Her sweet eyes will shine on him;
And amid the most hostile confusion
He trusts his sweet guide.
But the tombs of his great ancestors,
Victors’ crowns, ensigns of war,
Allow him no further peace.
He must do as they do,
And like them be immortal.
See, he mounts his noble steed,
Brandishes and tests his shining sword,
And rides into battle.
‘Give me my fill of melancholy.’
There they lie, stretched out in their own blood,
They who first defied terror,
With rigid lips and eyes wild with death.
No father returns now to his family,
Homeward marches a different army,
And those who have lost their dearest in war
Now bid the army a painful welcome!
Thus do his fatherland’s guardians
Appear to him as grim murderers,
Nurturing noble freedom
With the red of human blood.
And he curses insane glory,
And exchanges noisy tumult
For the cool, green woodland,
For the life of the forest.
‘Give me the solemnity of solitude.’
Through the darkness of dense pines
The sun can only penetrate partially
And paints the bed of needles with a dusky hue.
The cuckoo calls from the thicket,
The woodpecker drums on the grey bark,
And the dashing torrent
Thunders over the obstructing cliffs.
Whatever he wished for, whatever he loved,
Whatever brought him joy or sorrow,
Floats past in gentle rapture,
As if in the glow of evening.
The young man’s solitude and yearning
Becomes now the old man’s lot,
And a harsh and arduous life
Has finally led to rapture.

Composer

Franz Peter Schubert was an late Classical and early Romantic composer. He produced a vast oeuvre during his short life, composing more the 600 vocal works (largely Lieder), and well as several symphonies, operas, and a large body of piano music. He was uncommonly gifted from a young age, but appreciation of his music was limited during his lifetime. His work became more popular in the decades after his death, and was praised by 19th century composers, including Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Liszt.

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Poet

Johann Baptist Mayrhofer , was an Austrian poet and librettist. He is best known for his close friendship with the composer Franz Schubert.

Mayrhofer was born in Steyr, educated and Novitiate in St. Florian's Priory Upper Austria. In 1810 he began to study Jurisprudence and Theology at the University of Vienna, both of which courses he finished. In 1814 he met the young composer Franz Schubert and his friends (Joseph von Spaun, Franz von Schober).

Mayrhofer wrote a lot of lyric poetry and published it in 1824.

47 Schubert songs and two of his operas are based on Mayrhofer’s lyric poems.

As a young man Mayrhofer had been hopelessly in love with Mina (Wilhelmina Watteroth), the daughter of Heinrich Watteroth, who was one of Mayrhofer's professors and for a short time also his landlord. In his late years Mayrhofer (like Schubert) fell in love with a young 15-year-old girl, the daughter of his landlord Doctor Strauss. Mayrhofer, who had been a hypochondriac all his life, committed suicide by jumping from the window of his office in Vienna.

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