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Wie rafft' ich mich auf in der Nacht (1864) Op. 32 no.1


Part of a series or song cycle:

9 Lieder und Gesänge (Op.32)


Wie rafft' ich mich auf in der Nacht

Wie rafft ich mich auf in der Nacht, in der Nacht,
Und fühlte mich fürder gezogen,
Die Gassen verließ ich vom Wächter bewacht,
Durchwandelte sacht
In der Nacht, in der Nacht,
Das Tor mit dem gotischen Bogen.
Der Mühlbach rauschte durch felsigen Schacht,
Ich lehnte mich über die Brücke,
Tief unter mir nahm ich der Wogen in Acht,
Die wallten so sacht
In der Nacht, in der Nacht,
Doch wallte nicht eine zurücke.
Es drehte sich oben, unzählig entfacht
Melodischer Wandel der Sterne,
Mit ihnen der Mond in beruhigter Pracht,
Sie funkelten sacht
In der Nacht, in der Nacht,
Durch täuschend entlegene Ferne.
Ich blickte hinauf in der Nacht, in der Nacht,
Und blickte hinunter aufs neue;
O wehe, wie hast du die Tage verbracht,
Nun stille du sacht,
In der Nacht, in der Nacht,
Im pochenden Herzen die Reue!

How I leapt up in the night

How I leapt up in the night, in the night,
And felt myself drawn onward,
I left the streets, patrolled by the watch,
Quietly walked on
In the night, in the night,
Through the gate with the Gothic arch.
The millstream rushed through the rocky gorge,
I leaned over the bridge,
Far below me I watched the waves
That flowed so quietly
In the night, in the night,
But not a single wave ever flowed back.
The countless, kindled stars above
Went on their melodious way,
With them the moon in tranquil spendour –
They glittered quietly
In the night, in the night,
Through deceptively distant space.
I gazed aloft in the night, in the night,
And gazed down again once more;
Oh how have you spent your days, alas,
Now quietly silence
In the night, in the night,
The remorse that pounds in your heart!
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

Karl August Georg Maximilian Graf von Platen-Hallermünde was a German poet and dramatist. In German he mostly is called Graf (Count) Platen.

August von Platen was born on 24 October 1796 at Ansbach, the son of the Oberforstmeister (a senior public servant) of that state, Count Philipp August von Platen-Hallermünde, by second wife Baroness Christiane Eichler von Auriz. Shortly after his birth Ansbach and other Franconian principalities became incorporated with Bavaria. Platen entered the school of cadets (Kadettenhaus) in Munich, Bavaria, where he showed early poetic talent. In 1810 as an adolescent he passed into the royal school of pages (Königliche Pagerie).

In 1814 Platen was appointed lieutenant in the regiment of Bavarian life-guards. With them he took part in the short campaign in France of 1815, being in bivouac for several months near Mannheim and in the department of the Yonne. He saw no fighting, however, and returned home with his regiment towards the close of the same year. Desiring to study, and finding garrison life distasteful, he obtained a long leave of absence, and after a tour in Switzerland and the Bavarian Alps, entered the university of Würzburg in 1818 as a student of philosophy and philology.

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