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Der Leiermann Op. 30 no.3

Der Leiermann

Drüben hinter dem Dorfe
Steht ein Leiermann,
Und mit starren Fingern
Dreht er, was er drehen kann.
Barfuss auf dem Eise
Schwankt er hin und her;
Und sein kleiner Teller
Bleibt ihm immer leer.
Keiner mag ihn hören,
Keiner sieht ihn an;
Und die Hunde brummen
Um den alten Mann.
Und er lässt es gehen
Alles, wie es will,
Dreht, und seine Leier
Steht ihm nimmer still.
Wunderlicher Alter!
Soll ich mit dir geh'n?
Willst zu meinen Liedern
Deine Leier dreh'n?

The Hurdy-Gurdy Player

There, beyond the village,
stands a hurdy-gurdy player;
with numb fingers
he plays as best he can.
Barefoot on the ice
he totters to and fro,
and his little plate
remains forever empty.
No one wants to listen,
no one looks at him,
and the dogs growl
around the old man.
And he lets everything go on
as it will;
he plays, and his hurdy-gurdy
never stops.
Strange old man,
shall I go with you?
Will you turn your hurdy-gurdy
to my songs?

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Johann Ludwig Wilhelm Müller was a German lyric poet.
Wilhelm Müller was born on October 7, 1794 at Dessau, the son of a tailor. He was educated at the gymnasium of his native town and at the University of Berlin, where he devoted himself to philological and historical studies. In 1813-1814 he took part, as a volunteer in the Prussian army, in the national rising against Napoleon. He participated in the battles of Lützen, Bautzen, Hanau and Kulm. In 1814 he returned to his studies at Berlin. From 1817 to 1819, he visited southern Germany and Italy, and in 1820 published his impressions of the latter in Rom, Römer und Römerinnen. In 1819, he was appointed teacher of classics in the Gelehrtenschule at Dessau, and in 1820 librarian to the ducal library. He remained there the rest of his life, dying of a heart attack aged only 32.

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