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Hörst du von den Nachtigallen Die Gebüsche wiederhallen? Sieh, es kam der holde Mai. Jedes buhlt um seine Traute, Schmelzend sagen alle Laute, Welche Wonn' im Lieben sey. Andre, die im Käfig leben, Hinter ihren Gitterstäben, Hören draußen den Gesang; Möchten in die Freyheit eilen, Frühlingslust und Liebe theilen: Ach! da hemmt sie enger Zwang. Und [es]1 drängt sich in die Kehle Aus der gramzerrißnen Seele Schmetternd ihres Lieds Gewalt, Wo es, statt im Wehn der Haine Mitzuwallen, [von]2 der Steine Hartem Bau zurücke prallt. So, im Erdenthal gefangen, Hört [des]3 Menschen Geist mit Bangen [Hoher Brüder Harmonie]4; [Strebt]5 umsonst zu Himmelsheitern Dieses Daseyn zu erweitern, Und das nennt er Poesie. Aber scheint er ihre Rhythmen Jubelhymnen auch zu widmen, Wie aus lebenstrunkner Brust: Dennoch fühlen's zarte Herzen, Aus der Wurzel tiefer Schmerzen Stammt die Blüthe seiner Lust.
About the headline (FAQ)View original text (without footnotes)
Confirmed with August Wilhelm Schlegels poetische Werke. Erster Theil. Heidelberg bey Mohr und Zimmer 1811, pages 264-265; and with A. W. Schlegel's poetische Werke. Zweyter Theil. Neueste Auflage. Wien 1816. Bey B. Ph. Bauer, pages 31-32 (with the title Die gefangenen Sänger).1 Schubert: "nun"
2 Schubert: "an"
3 Schubert (Alte Gesamtausgabe): "der"
4 Schubert: "Hehrer Brüder Melodie"
5 Schubert: "Sucht"
- by August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767 - 1845), "Die gefangnen Sänger", written 1810, first published 1811 [author's text checked 2 times against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Franz Peter Schubert (1797 - 1828), "Die gefangenen Sänger", D 712 (1821), published 1842 [ voice, piano ], A. Diabelli & Co., VN 7411 Wien (Nachlaß-Lieferung 33) [sung text checked 1 time]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "De gevangen zangers", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- ENG English (T. P. (Peter) Perrin) , "The imprisoned singers", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Les chanteurs captifs", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 30
Word count: 138
Do you hear how the woods resound with nightingales? Look, the lovely May has come. All creatures now woo their chosen; every lute tenderly speaks what wonder there is in love. Others, who spend their lives confined inside the bars of cages, hear the music from a distance. They'd like to make a dash for freedom to share in the joy of spring and love -- alas, their tight constraints prevent them. And now, forced into their throats from their grief-tormented souls, bursts the power of their song, where, instead of swirling free out through the woods, it crashes back against their hard stone prison walls. The same way, locked in earth's low places, man's distressful spirit hears noblest songs of brotherhood; vainly yearns to lift this existence to the height of heaven's bliss -- he calls that yearning Poetry. But though it seems he dedicates his verse to celebrating joy, drunk with life's powers in his chest, more sympathetic hearts will sense that deeper, in the roots of pain, is where his flower of bliss takes shape.
- Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2011 by T. P. (Peter) Perrin, (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.
- a text in German (Deutsch) by August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767 - 1845), "Die gefangnen Sänger", written 1810, first published 1811
This text was added to the website: 2011-02-12
Line count: 30
Word count: 176