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Mein altes Ross (1850) Op. 127 no.4

Part of a series or song cycle:

Fünf Lieder und Gesänge (Op. 127)

Mein altes Ross

Mein altes Ross,
Mein Spielgenoss,
Was siehst du mich wiehernd an?
Deine Sehne, wie lahm,
Mein Mut, wie zahm,
Wir reiten nicht mehr hin dann!
Du schüttelst dein Haupt,
Deine Nüster schnaubt!
Ich glaube, du träumst, Kamerad,
Wir fliegen zusamm’
Überm Bergeskamm,
Den alten geliebten Pfad!
Ein knarrendes Tor,
Du scharrst davor,
Deine schäumende Stange tropft!
Ein rauschend Gewand,
Eine weiße Hand,
Die den funkelnden Hals dir klopft!
Es stäubt der Kies,
Schlaf süß und hinaus
In die blauende Nacht!
Auf tauigem Rain
Im Mondenschein,
Dahin mit Macht!
Verhängt den Zaum,
Im Herzen ein Traum,
Auf der Lippe den letzten Kuß;
Dumpf hallender Huf
Ein Wachtelruf,
Und fern ein rauschender Fluß!
Einen letzten Blick
Zurück, zurück
Auf der Liebsten schlafendes Haus!
Mein Kamerad,
Wie Schad’, wie Schad’,
Das Alles, Alles ist aus!
Mein Kamerad,
Den geliebten Pfad,
Den hat verweht der Schnee!
Und das Tor verbaut
Und verloren die Braut,
Und mein Herz so weh, so weh!

My old steed

My old steed,
My old companion,
Why do you look at me and neigh?
How feeble your strength,
How weak my resolve,
We shall never ride together again!
You shake your head,
Your nostrils flare!
I believe you are dreaming, friend:
Of how we flew together
Over the mountain ridge
On the old beloved path!
A gate creaks
You paw the ground,
Your bit is flecked with foam!
A dress rustles,
A white hand
Pats your glossy neck!
The gravel flies up,
Sleep well, sleep well,
Then out again into the blue night!
Over the dewy ridge
In the moonlight!
The bridle loose in my hands,
A dream in my heart,
The parting kiss on my lips;
Drumming hoof-beats
And a quail’s call,
And a murmuring river afar!
A final look back
Over my shoulder
To my sweetheart’s sleeping house!
Old friend,
How sad, how sad
That all is over now!
Old friend,
The path we loved
Is covered with snow!
The gate’s walled up,
The loved one lost,
And my heart’s so sad, so sad!
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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Moritz Karl Wilhelm Anton Graf von Strachwitz was a German lyric poet.

Strachwitz was born in Peterwitz, Silesia (today Stoszowice Poland). After studying in Breslau and Berlin he settled on his estate in Moravia, where he devoted himself to literary pursuits. When travelling in Italy in 1847 he was taken ill in Venice, and died in Vienna. Although he had thus only reached his twenty-fifth year, he revealed a lyric genius of remarkable force and originality.

His first collection of poems, Lieder eines Erwachenden (Songs of an Awakening) appeared in 1842 and went through several editions. Neue Gedichte (New Poems) were published after his death in 1848. These poems are characteristic of the transition through which the German lyric was passing between 1840 and 1848; the old Romantic strain is still dominant, especially in his ballads, which are unquestionably his finest productions; but, side by side with it, there is to be seen the influence of Platen, to whose warmest admirers Strachwitz belonged, as well as echoes of the restless political spirit of those eventful years. His political lyric was, however, tempered by an aristocratic restraint which was absent from the writings of men like Herwegh and Freiligrath. Strachwitz's early death in Vienna was a great loss to German letters; for he was by far the most promising of the younger lyric poets of his time.

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