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Der Fischer D225

Der Fischer

Das Wasser rauscht’, das Wasser schwoll,
Ein Fischer sass daran,
Sah nach dem Angel ruhevoll,
Kühl bis ans Herz hinan.
Und wie er sitzt und wie er lauscht,
Teilt sich die Flut empor;
Aus dem bewegten Wasser rauscht
Ein feuchtes Weib hervor.
Sie sang zu ihm, sie sprach zu ihm:
„Was lockst du meine Brut
Mit Menschenwitz und Menschenlist
Hinauf in Todesglut?
Ach wüsstest du, wie’s Fischlein ist
So wohlig auf dem Grund,
Du stiegst herunter, wie du bist,
Und würdest erst gesund.
„Labt sich die liebe Sonne nicht,
Der Mond sich nicht im Meer?
Kehrt wellenatmend ihr Gesicht
Nicht doppelt schöner her?
Lockt dich der tiefe Himmel nicht,
Das feuchtverklärte Blau?
Lockt dich dein eigen Angesicht
Nicht her in ewgen Tau?“
Das Wasser rauscht’, das Wasser schwoll,
Netzt’ ihm den nackten Fuss;
Sein Herz wuchs ihm so sehnsuchtsvoll,
Wie bei der Liebsten Gruss.
Sie sprach zu ihm, sie sang zu ihm;
Da war’s um ihn geschehn:
Halb zog sie ihn, halb sank er hin,
Und ward nicht mehr gesehn.

The Fisherman

The waters murmured, the waters swelled,
a fisherman sat on the bank;
calmly he gazed at his rod,
his heart was cold.
And as he sat and listened
the waters surged up and divided;
from the turbulent flood
a water nymph arose.
She sang to him, she spoke to him:
‘Why do you lure my brood
with human wit and guile
up into the fatal heat?
Ah, if you only knew how contented
the fish are in the depths,
you would descend, just as you are,
and at last be made whole.
‘Do not the dear sun and moon
refresh themselves in the ocean?
Do not their countenances emerge doubly beautiful
from breathing the waters?
Are you not enticed by the heavenly deep,
the transfigured, watery blue?
Are you not lured by your own face
into this eternal dew?’
The waters murmured, the waters swelled,
moistening his bare foot;
his heart surged with such yearning,
as if his sweetheart had called him.
She spoke to him, she sang to him,
then it was all over;
she half dragged him, he half sank down
and was never seen again.
Translations by Richard Wigmore first published by Gollancz and reprinted in the Hyperion Schubert Song Edition

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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