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Zweites Kophtisches Lied (1892) Op. 59 no.3


Part of a series or song cycle:

Fünf Lieder für Bariton und Klavier (Op. 59)


Zweites Kophtisches Lied

Geh! gehorche meinen Winken,
Nutze deine jungen Tage,
Lerne zeitig klüger sein:
Auf des Glückes großer Waage
Steht die Zunge selten ein;
Du mußt steigen oder sinken,
Du mußt herrschen und gewinnen
Oder dienen und verlieren,
Leiden oder triumphieren,
Amboß oder Hammer sein.

Second Cophtic Song

Go! do what I suggest,
Make use of your young days,
Learn in good time to be wiser:
On the mighty scales of Fortune
The pointer is seldom at rest:
You must rise or you must fall,
You must win and be a master
Or you must lose and be a slave,
You must suffer or triumph,
Be the anvil or the hammer.
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Composer

Max Bruch was a German Romantic composer, teacher, and conductor. 

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Poet

Johann Wolfgang Goethe was a German writer and statesman. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels. In addition, numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, and nearly 3,000 drawings by him exist. A literary celebrity by the age of 25, Goethe was ennobled by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Karl August in 1782 after first taking up residence there in November 1775 following the success of his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther. He was an early participant in the Sturm und Drang literary movement. During his first ten years in Weimar, Goethe served as a member of the Duke's privy council, sat on the war and highway commissions, oversaw the reopening of silver mines in nearby Ilmenau, and implemented a series of administrative reforms at the University of Jena. He also contributed to the planning of Weimar's botanical park and the rebuilding of its Ducal Palace, which in 1998 were together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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