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Willkommen und Abschied (1822) D767

Willkommen und Abschied

Es schlug mein Herz, geschwind zu Pferde!
Es war getan fast eh’ gedacht.
Der Abend wiegte schon die Erde,
Und an den Bergen hing die Nacht;
Schon stand im Nebelkleid die Eiche,
Ein aufgetürmter Riese, da,
Wo Finsterniss aus dem Gesträuche
Mit hundert schwarzen Augen sah.
Der Mond von einem Wolkenhügel
Sah kläglich aus dem Duft hervor,
Die Winde schwangen leise Flügel,
Umsausten schauerlich mein Ohr;
Die Nacht schuf tausend Ungeheuer,
Doch frisch und fröhlich war mein Mut:
In meinen Adern welches Feuer!
In meinem Herzen welche Glut!
Dich sah ich, und die milde Freude
Floss von dem süssen Blick auf mich;
Ganz war mein Herz an deiner Seite
Und jeder Atemzug für dich.
Ein rosenfarbnes Frühlingswetter
Umgab das liebliche Gesicht,
Und Zärtlichkeit für mich – Ihr Götter!
Ich hofft’ es, ich verdient’ es nicht!
Doch ach, schon mit der Morgensonne
Verengt der Abschied mir das Herz:
In deinen Küssen welche Wonne!
In deinem Auge welcher Schmerz!
Ich ging, du standst und sahst zur Erden,
Und sahst mir nach mit nassem Blick:
Und doch, welch Glück, geliebt zu werden!
Und lieben, Götter, welch ein Glück!

Greeting and farewell

My heart pounded, quick, to horse!
No sooner thought than done;
Evening already cradled the earth,
And night clung to the hills;
The oak-tree loomed in its misty cloak,
Towering like a giant, there,
Where darkness peered from bushes
With a hundred jet-black eyes.
The moon gazed from a bank of cloud
Mournfully through the haze,
The winds softly beat their wings,
Whirred eerily about my ears;
Night brought forth a thousand monsters,
Yet I was buoyant and bright:
What fire in my veins!
What ardour in my heart!
I saw you, felt the gentle joy
Of your sweet eyes flood over me;
My heart was wholly at your side
And every breath I took for you.
A rose-red light of spring
Framed her lovely face,
And tenderness for me – O gods!
This I had hoped but never deserved!
But alas, with the morning sun,
Parting now constricts my heart:
In your kisses what delight!
In your eyes what pain!
In went, you stood there gazing down,
And gazed moist-eyed after me:
And yet, what joy to be loved!
And to be in love, O gods, what joy!
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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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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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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