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O süße Mutter (1850) Op. 29 no.4

O süße Mutter

O süße Mutter,
Ich kann nicht spinnen,
Ich kann nicht sitzen
Im Stüblein innen,
Im engen Haus;
Es stockt das Rädchen,
Es reißt das Fädchen,
O süße Mutter,
Ich muß hinaus.
Der Frühling gucket
Hell durch die Scheiben,
Wer kann nun sitzen,
Wer kann nun bleiben
Und fleißig sein?
O laß mich gehen,
O laß mich sehen,
Ob ich kann fliegen
Wie Vögelein.
O laß mich sehen,
O laß mich lauschen,
Wo Lüftlein wehen,
Wo Bächlein rauschen,
Wo Blümlein blühn.
Laß mich sie pflücken
Und schön mir schmücken
Die braunen Locken
Mit buntem Grün.
Und kommen Knaben
Im wilden Haufen,
So will ich traben,
So will ich laufen,
Nicht stille stehn;
Will hinter Hecken
Mich hier verstecken,
Bis sie mit Lärmen
Vorüber gehn.
Bringt aber Blumen
Ein frommer Knabe,
Die ich zum Kranze
Just nötig habe,
Was soll ich tun?
Darf ich wohl nickend,
Ihm freundlich blickend,
O süße Mutter,
Zur Seit’ ihm ruhn?

O mother dear

O mother dear,
I can spin no more,
I can sit no longer
In my little room
In this poky house;
The wheel stops,
The thread snaps,
O mother dear,
I must go out.
The spring peers
Brightly through the panes,
Who can sit down,
Who can stay indoors
And be busy?
O let me go,
And let me see
If I can fly
Like the birds.
O let me watch,
O let me listen,
Where breezes blow,
Where streams murmur,
Where flowers bloom.
Let me pluck them,
And let me adorn
My brown locks
With bright green.
And if boys come by
In wild gangs,
I’ll make off,
I'll run away
And not stand still;
Here I’ll hide
Behind the hedge,
Till they and their noise
Have gone away.
But if a nice young man
Should bring me flowers
That I need just then
For a garland;
What shall I do?
Might I not nod
And smile at him,
O mother dear,
And lie by his side?
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Composer

Carl Heinrich Carsten Reinecke was a German composer, conductor, and pianist in the Middle Romantic Era. He studied under Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann and Franz Liszt.


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Poet

Friedrich Rückert was a German poet, translator, and professor of Oriental languages.

Rückert was born at Schweinfurt and was the eldest son of a lawyer. He was educated at the local Gymnasium and at the universities of Würzburg and Heidelberg. From 1816–1817, he worked on the editorial staff of the Morgenblatt at Stuttgart. Nearly the whole of the year 1818 he spent in Rome, and afterwards he lived for several years at Coburg (1820–1826). Rückert married Luise Wiethaus-Fischer there in 1821. He was appointed a professor of Oriental languages at the University of Erlangen in 1826, and, in 1841, he was called to a similar position in Berlin, where he was also made a privy councillor. In 1849 he resigned his professorship at Berlin, and went to live full-time in his Gut (estate) at Neuses (now a part of Coburg).

When Rückert began his literary career, Germany was engaged in her life-and-death struggle with Napoleon; and in his first volume, Deutsche Gedichte (German Poems), published in 1814 under the pseudonym Freimund Raimar, he gave, particularly in the powerful Geharnischte Sonette (Sonnets in Arms/Harsh Words), vigorous expression to the prevailing sentiment of his countrymen. During 1815 to 1818 appeared Napoleon, eine politische Komödie in drei Stücken (Napoleon, a Political Comedy in Three Parts) of which only two parts were published; and in 1817 Der Kranz der Zeit (The Wreath of Time).

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