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Die Sterne (1828) D939

Die Sterne

Wie blitzen die Sterne so hell durch die Nacht!
Bin oft schon darüber vom Schlummer erwacht.
Doch schelt’ ich die lichten Gebilde drum nicht,
Sie üben im Stillen manch heilsame Pflicht.
Sie wallen hoch oben in Engelgestalt,
Sie leuchten dem Pilger durch Heiden und Wald.
Sie schweben als Boten der Liebe umher,
Und tragen oft Küsse weit über das Meer.
Sie blicken dem Dulder recht mild ins Gesicht,
Und säumen die Tränen mit silbernem Licht.
Und weisen von Gräbern gar tröstlich und hold
Uns hinter das Blaue mit Fingern von Gold.
So sei denn gesegnet du strahlige Schar!
Und leuchte mir lange noch freundlich und klar!
Und wenn ich einst liebe, seid hold dem Verein,
Und euer Geflimmer lasst Segen uns sein!

The Stars

How brightly the stars glitter through the night!
I have often been aroused by them from slumber.
But I do not chide the shining beings for that,
for they secretly perform many a benevolent task.
They wander high above in the form of angels;
they light the pilgrim’s way through heath and
They hover like harbingers of love
and often bear kisses far across the sea.
They gaze tenderly into the sufferer’s face
and fringe his tears with silver light.
And comfortingly, gently, direct us from the grave,
beyond the azure with fingers of gold.
I bless you, radiant throng!
Long may you shine upon me, clear, pleasing light!
And if one day I fall in love, smile upon the bond
and let your twinkling be a blessing upon us.
Translation by Richard Wigmore

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Franz Peter Schubert was an late Classical and early Romantic composer. He produced a vast oeuvre during his short life, composing more the 600 vocal works (largely Lieder), and well as several symphonies, operas, and a large body of piano music. He was uncommonly gifted from a young age, but appreciation of his music was limited during his lifetime. His work became more popular in the decades after his death, and was praised by 19th century composers, including Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Liszt.

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Karl (or Carl) Gottfried Ritter von Leitner ( was an Austrian author and publicist from Graz, Styria, Austria.

From 1837 to 1854 he was the first Secretary to the Estates in Styria. He was the editor of the newspaper "Steiermark Zeitschrift" (Styria Times). Karl was the curator of the Landesmuseum Joanneum (Joanneum National Museum) in Graz, Austria from 1858 to 1864, and ge co-founded the Historical Association for Styrian Friendship with Peter Rosegger.

Some of his ballads were set to music by Franz Schubert, including Der Kreuzzug (D932), Der Wallensteiner Lanzknecht beim Trunk (D931), Der Winterabend (D938), Des Fischers Liebesglück (D933), Die Sterne (D939) and Vor meine Wiege (D927).

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