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Songs

An die Sonne

by Franz Schubert

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Text & Translation

An die Sonne
German source: Uz, Johann

O Sonne, Königin der Welt,
Die unser dunkles Leben erhellt,
O Sonne, Königin der Welt,
Die unser dunkles Rund erhellt,
In lichter Majestät;
Erhab’nes Wunder einer Hand,
Die jene Himmel ausgespannt
Und Sterne hingesät!

Noch heute seh’ ich deinen Glanz,
Mir lacht in ihrem Blumenkranz
Noch heute die Natur.
Der Vögel buntgefiedert Heer
Singt morgen mir vielleicht nicht mehr
Im Wald und auf der Flur.

Ich fühle, dass ich sterblich bin,
Mein Leben welkt wie Gras dahin,
Wie ein verschmachtend Laub.
Wer weiss, wie unerwartet bald
Des höchsten Wort an mich erschallt:
Komm wieder in den Staub!

To the Sun
English translation © Richard Wigmore

O sun, queen of the world,
who lights our dark lives –
O sun, queen of the world,
who lights our dark round
in shining majesty;
sublime marvel of a hand
which spread out the distant heavens
and strewed the stars within them!

Today I can still see your radiance;
in its garlands of flowers
nature still smiles upon me today.
Tomorrow the bright-feathered hosts of birds
may never again sing to me
in the woods and the meadows.

I feel that I am mortal;
my life withers away like grass,
like languishing leaves.
Who knows how unexpectedly, how soon
the voice of the Almighty will ring out to me:
‘Return to the dust!’

Translations by Richard Wigmore first published by Gollancz and reprinted in the Hyperion Schubert Song Edition

An die Sonne
German source: Uz, Johann

To the Sun
English source: Richard Wigmore

O Sonne, Königin der Welt,
O sun, queen of the world,
Die unser dunkles Leben erhellt,
who lights our dark lives –
O Sonne, Königin der Welt,
O sun, queen of the world,
Die unser dunkles Rund erhellt,
who lights our dark round
In lichter Majestät;
in shining majesty;
Erhab’nes Wunder einer Hand,
sublime marvel of a hand
Die jene Himmel ausgespannt
which spread out the distant heavens
Und Sterne hingesät!
and strewed the stars within them!

Noch heute seh’ ich deinen Glanz,
Today I can still see your radiance;
Mir lacht in ihrem Blumenkranz
in its garlands of flowers
Noch heute die Natur.
nature still smiles upon me today.
Der Vögel buntgefiedert Heer
Tomorrow the bright-feathered hosts of birds
Singt morgen mir vielleicht nicht mehr
may never again sing to me
Im Wald und auf der Flur.
in the woods and the meadows.

Ich fühle, dass ich sterblich bin,
I feel that I am mortal;
Mein Leben welkt wie Gras dahin,
my life withers away like grass,
Wie ein verschmachtend Laub.
like languishing leaves.
Wer weiss, wie unerwartet bald
Who knows how unexpectedly, how soon
Des höchsten Wort an mich erschallt:
the voice of the Almighty will ring out to me:
Komm wieder in den Staub!
‘Return to the dust!’

Composer

Franz Schubert

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…

Poet

Uz, Johann

Johann Peter Uz, German poet. He was born at Ansbach. He studied law in 1739-43 at the university of Halle, where he associated with the poets Johann Gleim and Johann Nikolaus Götz, and in conjunction with the latter translated the odes of Anacreon…

Performances

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