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Guten Abend, lieber Mondenschein!
Wie blickst mir so traulich ins Herz hinein?
Nun sprich, und laß dich nicht lange fragen,
Du hast mir gewiß einen Gruß zu sagen,
Einen Gruß von meinem Schatz.
Wie sollt' ich bringen den Gruß zu dir?
Du hast ja keinen Schatz bei mir.
Und was mir da unten die Bursche sagen,
Und was mir die Frauen und Mädchen klagen,
Ei, das versteh' ich nicht.
Hast Recht, mein lieber Mondenschein,
Du darfst auch Liebchens Bote nicht sein,
Denn thätst du zu tief ihr ins Auge sehen,
Du könntest ja nimmermehr untergehen,
Schienst ewig nur für sie.
Dies Liedchen ist ein Abendreih'n,
Ein Wandrer sang's im Vollmondschein,
Und die es lesen bei Kerzenlicht,
Die Leute verstehen das Liedchen nicht,
Und ist doch kinderleicht.

Nocturnal dance

Good evening, dear moonlight!
Why gaze so intimately into my heart?
Tell me, and do not delay,
You are bringing me a greeting,
A greeting from my sweetheart.
How could I bring you such a greeting?
You have no sweetheart where I dwell.
And what the lads on earth tell me,
And what women and girls lament to me –
Ah! I do not understand.
You are right, my dear moonlight,
You cannot be my love’s messenger,
For if you gazed too deeply into her eyes,
You could never set
But would shine eternally for her alone.
This little song’s a nocturnal dance,
A wanderer sang it by moonlight,
And those who read it by candlelight
Cannot understand the little song,
And yet it’s as easy as pie.

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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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