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Lebens‑Melodien

Language: German (Deutsch)

     Der Schwan.
Auf den Wassern wohnt mein stilles Leben,
Zieht nur gleiche Kreise, die verschweben,
Und mir schwindet nie im feuchten Spiegel
Der gebogne Hals und die Gestalt.

     Der Adler.
Ich haus' in den felsigen Klüften,
Ich braus' in den stürmenden Lüften,
Vertrauend dem schlagenden Flügel
Bey [Jagd und]1 Kampf und Gewalt.

     Der Schwan.
Mich erquickt das Blau der heitern Lüfte,
Mich berauschen süß des Kalmus Düfte,
Wenn ich in dem Glanz der Abendröthe
Weichbefiedert wiege meine Brust.

     Der Adler.
Ich jauchze daher in Gewittern,
Wenn unten den Wald sie zersplittern, 
Ich frage den Blitz, ob er tödte,
Mit fröhlich vernichtender Lust.

     Der Schwan.
Von Apollo's Winken eingeladen,
Darf ich mich in Wohllautströmen baden,
Ihm geschmiegt zu Füßen, wenn die Lieder
Tönend wehn in Tempe's May hinab.

     Der Adler.
Ich throne bey Jupiters Sitze;
Er winkt, und ich hol' ihm die Blitze,
Dann senk' ich im Schlaf das Gefieder
Auf seinen gebietenden Stab.

     Der Schwan.
Von der sel'gen Götterkraft durchdrungen,
Hab' ich mich um Leda's Schooß geschlungen;
Schmeichelnd drückten mich die zarten Hände
Als ihr Sinn in Wonne sich verlor.

     Der Adler.
Ich kam aus den Wolken geschossen,
Entriß ihn den blöden Genossen:
Ich trug in den Klauen behende
Zum Olymp Ganymeden empor.

     Der Schwan.
So gebahr sie freundliche Naturen,
Helena und euch, ihr Dioskuren,
Milde Sterne, deren Brüdertugend
Wechselnd Schattenwelt und Himmel theilt.

     Der Adler.
Nun tränkt aus nektarischem Becher
Der Jüngling die ewigen Zecher;
Nie bräunt sich die Wange der Jugend,
Wie endlos die Zeit auch enteilt.

     Der Schwan.
Ahndevoll betracht' ich oft die Sterne,
In der Flut die tiefgewölbte Ferne,
Und mich zieht ein innig rührend Sehnen
Aus der Heimat in ein himmlisch Land.

     Der Adler.
Ich wandte die Flüge mit Wonne 
Schon früh zur unsterblichen Sonne,
Kann nie an den Staub mich gewöhnen,
Ich bin mit den Göttern verwandt.

     Der Schwan.
Willig weicht dem Tod' ein sanftes Leben;
Wenn sich meiner Glieder Band' entweben, 
Löst die Zunge sich: melodisch feyert
Jeder Hauch den heil'gen Augenblick.

     Der Adler.
Die Fackel der Todten verjünget:
Ein blühender Phönix, entschwinget
Die Seele sich frey und entschleyert,
Und grüßet ihr göttliches Glück.

     Die Tauben.
In der Myrten Schatten
Gatte treu dem Gatten,
Flattern wir und tauschen
Manchen langen Kuß.
  Suchen und irren, 
  Finden und girren,
  Schmachten und lauschen,
  Wunsch und Genuß!

Venus Wagen ziehen 
Schnäbelnd wir im Fliehen,
Unsre blauen Schwingen
Säumt der Sonne Gold.
  O wie es fächelt,
  Wenn sie uns lächelt! 
  Leichtes Gelingen, 
  Lieblicher Sold!

Wende denn die Stürme,
Schöne Göttinn! schirme
Bey bescheidner Freude
Deiner Tauben Paar!
  Laß uns beysammen!
  Oder in Flammen
  Opfre uns beyde 
  Deinem Altar!


Translation(s): DUT ENG FRE

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Confirmed with Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1799, herausgegeben von Schiller. Tübingen, in der J.G.Cottaischen Buchhandlung, pages 111-115; and with A. W. Schlegel's poetische Werke. Erster Theil. Neueste Auflage. Wien 1816. Bey B. Ph. Bauer, pages 51-55.

1 Schubert: "Jagd, bei"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator] and Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor] and Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Levensmelodieën", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "Melodies of life", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Mélodies de la vie", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2017-07-23 06:57:58
Line count: 95
Word count: 431

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Melodies of life

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

The swan:
My quiet life is lived on the waters,
Always drawing circles of the same size, which dissolve,
And in the damp mirror, for me there is never any disappearance
Of my arching kneck or my face.
 
The eagle:
I have set up home in the rocky crevices,
I race in the stormy winds,
Trusting in my beating wings
When hunting, in battle and when using force.

The swan:
The blue of cheerful breezes refreshes me,
The scent of calamus offers me sweet intoxication,
When in the glow of sunset
I rock my softly feathered breast.

The eagle:
Up here I rejoice in thunderstorms
When down in the woods trees are split apart,
I ask the lightning whether it kills
With a merry destructive passion.

The swan:
Invited by a gesture from Apollo
I am allowed to bathe in harmonious streams,
I snuggle at his feet when songs
Ring out and drift down the valley of Tempe in May.

The eagle:
My throne is next to Jupiter's seat;
He gestures and I bring him the lightning,
Then I sink into sleep with my feathers
On his staff of command.

The swan:
Permeated with the blessed strength of the gods
I wrapped myself around Leda's lap;
Her tender hands pressed me flatteringly
When she lost her reason in bliss.

The eagle:
I came shooting forth from the clouds,
I snatched up that simple companion;
In my agile talons I carried
Ganymede up to Olympus.

The swan:
In this way she gave birth to friendly natures,
Helena and you twins, the Dioscuri,
Gentle stars, whose brotherly virtue
Shares out the transient world of shadows and the heavenly sky.

The eagle:
Using his goblet of nectar he soaks them,
The lad soaks the eternal boozers;
The cheeks of the youth will never go brown,
Even if time passes by without end.

The swan:
With a presentiment I often gaze at the stars
And the arching distance in the waters,
And I am pulled by an inner longing 
Coming from my home in a heavenly land.

The eagle:
I happily turned my wings
Very young towards the undying sun,
I can never get used to the dust
I am connected with the gods.

The swan:
As is right, death eases a peaceful life
When the ties that hold me together come unstrung:
My tongue is loosened: with melody 
Each breath celebrates the holy moment.

The eagle:
The torch of the dead is rejuvenated:
A glowing phoenix, the soul jumps free
And unveils itself
As it greets its divine fate.

The doves:
In the shadow of the myrtles
Partner is true to partner,
We flutter and exchange
Many a long kiss.
   Searching and going off,
   Finding and cooing,
   Languishing and listening,
   Desire and enjoyment!

Pulling the chariot of Venus
We bill and coo as we fly;
Our blue wings
Collect the sun's gold.
   Oh how it blows
   When they smile on us!
   Easy success,
   Lovely reward!

So turn away the storms,
Beautiful goddess! protect
With a modest joy
Your pair of doves!
   Let us stay together!
   Or in flames
   Sacrifice us both
   On your altar!


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Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2017 by Malcolm Wren, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

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Text added to the website: 2017-07-16.
Last modified: 2017-07-16 17:34:34
Line count: 95
Word count: 521