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Suleika Op. 34 no.4

Suleika

Ach, um deine feuchten Schwingen,
West, wie sehr ich dich beneide:
Denn du kannst ihm Kunde bringen
Was ich in der Trennung leide!
Die Bewegung deiner Flügel
Weckt im Busen stilles Sehnen;
Blumen, Auen, Wald und Hügel
Stehn bei deinem Hauch in Tränen.
Doch dein mildes sanftes Wehen
Kühlt die wunden Augenlider;
Ach, für Leid müßt’ ich vergehen,
Hofft’ ich nicht zu sehn ihn wieder.
Eile denn zu meinem Lieben,
Spreche sanft zu seinem Herzen;
Doch vermeid’ ihn zu betrüben
Und verbirg ihm meine Schmerzen.
Sag ihm, aber sag’s bescheiden:
Seine Liebe sei mein Leben,
Freudiges Gefühl von beiden
Wird mir seine Nähe geben.

Suleika

Ah, West Wind, how I envy you
Your moist pinions:
For you can bring him word
Of what I suffer away from him!
The movement of your wings
Wakes silent longing in my heart;
Flowers, meadows, woods and hills,
Dissolve in tears where you blow.
Yet your mild, gentle breeze
Cools my sore eyelids;
Ah, I’d surely die of grief,
Did I not hope to see him again.
Hurry, then, to my beloved,
Whisper softly to his heart;
Take care, though, not to sadden him,
And hide from him my anguish.
Tell him, but tell him humbly:
That his love is my life,
His presence here will fill me
With happiness in both.
Translations by Richard Wigmore first published by Gollancz and reprinted in the Hyperion Schubert Song Edition

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Composer

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (3 February 1809 – 4 November 1847), brother of Fanny Mendelssohn and grandson of Haskalah and Enlightenment philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period. Mendelssohn's compositions include symphonies, concertos, piano music and chamber music. 

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Poet

Marianne von Willemer was an Austrian actress and dancer best known for her relationship with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and her appearance in his poetry. At the age of 14 she moved to Frankfurt am Main, where she became the third wife of Frankfurt banker Johann Jakob von Willemer. He introduced her to Goethe, who met Marianne in 1814 and 1815. Goethe immortalised her in the Buch Suleika of his late work West-östlicher Diwan; she later revealed that several of its poems were authored by her.

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