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Scheideblick (1840) Op. 10 no.5

Scheideblick

Als ein unergründlich Wonnemeer
Strahlte mir dein seelenvoller Blick!
Scheiden mußt' ich ohne Wiederkehr,
Und ich habe scheidend all' mein Glück
Still versenkt in dieses tiefe Meer.

A parting glance

Like an unfathomable sea of rapture
Your soul’s deep gaze shone on me;
I had to part, never to return,
And parting, I sank all my happiness
Silently into this deep sea.

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Poet

Nikolaus Lenau was the nom de plume of Nikolaus Franz Niembsch Edler von Strehlenau, a German-language Austrian poet.

He was born at Schadat, now Lenauheim, Romania, then in Hungary. His father, a Habsburg government official, died in 1807 in Budapest, leaving his children in the care of their mother, who remarried in 1811. In 1819 Nikolaus went to the University of Vienna; he subsequently studied Hungarian law at Pozsony (Bratislava) and then spent the next four years qualifying himself in medicine. Unable to settle down to any profession, he began writing verse. The disposition to sentimental melancholy inherited from his mother, stimulated by disappointments in love and by the prevailing fashion of the romantic school of poetry, descended into gloom after his mother's death in 1829.

Soon afterwards, however, a legacy from his grandmother enabled him to devote himself wholly to poetry. His first published poems appeared in 1827, in Johann Gabriel Seidl's Aurora. In 1831 he moved to Stuttgart, where he published a volume of Gedichte (1832) dedicated to the Swabian poet, Gustav Schwab. He also made the acquaintance of Ludwig Uhland, Justinus Kerner, Karl Mayer and others. His restless spirit longed for change, and he determined to seek peace and freedom in America.

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