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Songs

An die Hoffnung Op. 94

An die Hoffnung

Ob ein Gott sei? Ob er einst erfülle,
Was die Sehnsucht weinend sich verspricht?
Ob, vor irgend einem Weltgericht,
Sich dies rätselhafte Sein enthülle?
Hoffen soll der Mensch! Er frage nicht!
Die du so gern in heil’gen Nächten feierst
Und sanft und weich den Gram verschleierst,
Der eine zarte Seele quält,
O Hoffnung! Lass, durch dich emporgehoben,
Den Dulder ahnen, dass dort oben
Ein Engel seine Tränen zählt!
Wenn, längst verhallt, geliebte Stimmen schweigen;
Wenn unter ausgestorbnen Zweigen
Verödet die Erinnerung sitzt:
Dann nahe dich, wo dein Verlassner trauert,
Und, von der Mitternacht umschauert,
Sich auf versunkne Urnen stützt.
Und blickt er auf, das Schicksal anzuklagen,
Wenn scheidend über seinen Tagen
Die letzten Strahlen untergehn:
Dann lass ihn, um den Rand des Erdentraumes,
Das Leuchten eines Wolkensaumes
Von einer nahen Sonne sehn!

To Hope

Does a God exist? Will He one day grant
what tearful longing promises?
Will, at some Last Judgment,
this mysterious being reveal itself?
Man should hope! Not question!
You who so gladly celebrate on sacred nights,
and softly and gently veil the grief
which torments a tender soul,
O Hope! Uplifted by you,
let the sufferer sense that there on high
an angel is counting his tears!
When, long since hushed, beloved voices are silent;
when, beneath dead branches,
memory sits in desolation -
then draw near to where your forsaken one mourns,
and, enveloped in eerie midnight,
leans against sunken urns.
And should he look up to accuse fate,
when the last departing rays
set on his days:
then, around the rim of this earthly dream,
let him see the hem of a cloud
glowing in the light of a nearby sun!

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Composer

Ludwig van Beethoven (baptised 17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the classical and romantic eras in classical music, he remains one of the most recognized and influential musicians of this period, and is considered to be one of the greatest composers of all time.

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Poet

Christoph August Tiedge was a German poet.

Tiedge was the eldest son of the rector of the Gelehrten Stadtschule in Gardelegen and his wife, and studied law in Halle, Saxony-Anhalt. In 1788 he went to Halberstadt, acting for four years as secretary to the Domherr von Steder. After the Domherr died, Tiedge and his family moved to the vicinity of Quedlinburg. After the death of his wife, von Steder, in 1797, he alternated between living in Halle and Berlin and (from 1805 to 1808) accompanying his friend Elisa von der Recke through Germany, Switzerland and Italy. From 1819 Tiedge lived with Elisa in Dresden. Placed beyond material care by his friend's last will, he continued to live there after her death until his.

Some singable lyrics, of which “Schöne Minka, ich muss scheiden” is an example, first established his reputation, and Urania über Gott, Unsterblichkeit und Freiheit (1800; 18th ed., 1862), a lyric-didactic poem, inspired by the ethics of Emanuel Kant, enjoyed wide popularity in the beginning of the nineteenth century. A kind of sequel to it were the Wanderungen durch den Markt des Lebens (1833). Among his other poetical efforts, the Elegien und vermischte Gedichte (1803) met with the greatest success. After his death, the Tiedge Foundation was established in Dresden for the purpose of caring for the poet's grave and of granting subventions to poets and artists or their widows and children. Administered by the Saxon Ministry of Public Instruction, its funds amounted to more than 662,000 marks in 1901.

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