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Songs

Songs

Auf dem See D543

Auf dem See

Und frische Nahrung, neues Blut
Saug’ ich aus freier Welt;
Wie ist Natur so hold und gut,
Die mich am Busen hält!
Die Welle wiegen unsern
Kahn Im Rudertakt hinauf,
Und Berge, wolkig himmelan,
Begegnen unserm Lauf.
Aug’, mein Aug’, was sinkst du nieder?
Goldne Träume, kommt ihr wieder?
Weg, du Traum! so gold du bist;
Hier auch Lieb’ und Leben ist.
Auf der Welle blinken
Tausend schwebende Sterne,
Weiche Nebel trinken
Rings die türmende Ferne;
Morgenwind umflügelt
Die beschattete Bucht,
Und im See bespiegelt
Sich die reifende Frucht.

On the lake

And fresh nourishment, new blood
I suck from these open spaces;
How sweet and kindly Nature is,
Who holds me to her breast!
The waves cradle our boat
To the rhythm of the oars,
And mountains, soaring skywards in cloud,
Meet us in our path.
Why, my eyes, do you look down?
Golden dreams, will you return?
Away, O dream, however golden;
Here too is love and life.
Stars in their thousands
Drift and glitter on the waves,
Gentle mists drink in
The towering skyline;
Morning breezes flutter
Round the shaded bay,
And the ripening fruit
Is reflected in the lake.
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

Composer

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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Poet

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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