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Der Wanderer (1819) D649

Der Wanderer

Wie deutlich des Mondes Licht
Zu mir spricht,
Mich beseelend zu der Reise:
„Folge treu dem alten Gleise,
Wähle keine Heimat nicht.
Ew’ge Plage
Bringen sonst die schweren Tage;
Fort zu andern
Sollst du wechseln, sollst du wandern,
Leicht entfliehend jeder Klage.“
Sanfte Ebb’ und hohe Flut,
Tief im Mut,
Wandr’ ich so im Dunkeln weiter,
Steige mutig, singe heiter,
Und die Welt erscheint mir gut.
Alles reine
Seh’ ich mild im Widerscheine,
Nichts verworren
In des Tages Glut verdorren:
Froh umgeben, doch alleine.

The Wanderer

How clearly the moon’s light
speaks to me,
inspiring me on my journey:
‘Follow faithfully the old track,
choose nowhere as your home,
lest bad times
bring endless cares.
You will move on, and go forth
to other places,
lightly casting off all grief.’
Thus, with gentle ebb and swelling flow
deep within my soul,
I walk on in the darkness.
I climb boldly, singing merrily,
and the world seems good to me.
I see all things clearly
in their gentle reflection.
Nothing is blurred
or withered in the heat of the day:
there is joy all around, yet I am alone.
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 Wilhelm Friedrich (after 1814: von) Schlegel  was a German poet, literary critic, philosopher, philologist and indologist. With his older brother, August Wilhelm Schlegel, he was one of the main figures of the Jena romantics. He was a zealous promoter of the Romantic movement and inspired Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Adam Mickiewicz and Kazimierz Brodziński. Schlegel was a pioneer in Indo-European studies, comparative linguistics, in what became known as Grimm's law, and morphological typology. As a young man he was an atheist, a radical, and an individualist. Ten years later, the same Schlegel converted to Catholicism. Around 1810 he was a diplomat and journalist in the service of Metternich, surrounded by monks and pious men of society.

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