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Und kommt er nicht mehr zurück? (1873) WoO 22 no.5


Part of a series or song cycle:

Ophelia-Lieder (WoO 22)


Und kommt er nicht mehr zurück?

Und kommt er nicht mehr zurück?
Und kommt er nicht mehr zurück?
Er ist tot, o weh!
In dein Todesbett geh,
Er kommt ja nimmer zurück.
Sein Bart war so weiss wie Schnee,
Sein Haupt dem Flachse gleich:
Er ist hin, ist hin,
Und kein Leid bringt Gewinn:
Gott helf’ ihm ins Himmelreich!

And will he not come again?

And will he not come again?
And will he not come again?
He is dead, alas!
Go to thy death-bed,
He never will come again.
His beard was as white as snow,
All flaxen was his poll.
He is gone, is gone,
And nothing comes of mourning:
May God help him into the kingdom of heaven!
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Composer

Johannes Brahms (7 May 1833 – 3 April 1897) was a German composer, pianist, and conductor of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna. 

Brahms has been considered, by his contemporaries and by later writers, as both a traditionalist and an innovator. His music is firmly rooted in the structures and compositional techniques of the Classical masters. While many contemporaries found his music too academic, his contribution and craftsmanship have been admired by many. 

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Poet

August Wilhelm (after 1812: von) Schlegel, usually cited as August Schlegel, was a German poet, translator, critic, and a foremost leader of Jena Romanticism along with his brother Friedrich Schlegel. His translations of Shakespeare made the English dramatist's works into German classics. Schlegel was also the first professor in Sanskrit on the continent and produced a translation of the Bhagavad Gita.

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Source Text by:

William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet, and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including collaborations, consist of approximately 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Shakespeare was born and brought up in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Sometime between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613, at age 49, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive, which has stimulated considerable speculation about such matters as his physical appearance, sexuality, and religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others.

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