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Songs

Der Atlas

by Franz Schubert From Schwanengesang (1828) D957

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Text & Translation

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Der Atlas
German source: Heinrich Heine

Ich unglücksel’ger Atlas! eine Welt,
Die ganze Welt der Schmerzen muss ich tragen.
Ich trage Unerträgliches, und brechen
Will mir das Herz im Leibe.

Du stolzes Herz, du hast es ja gewollt!
Du wolltest glücklich sein, unendlich glücklich,
Oder unendlich elend, stolzes Herz,
Und jetzo bist du elend.

Atlas
English translation © Richard Wigmore

I, unhappy Atlas, must bear a world,
the whole world of sorrows.
I bear the unbearable, and my heart
would break within my body.

Proud heart, you wished it so!
You wished to be happy, endlessly happy,
or endlessly wretched, proud heart!
And now you are wretched!

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

Der Atlas
German source: Heinrich Heine

Atlas
English source: Richard Wigmore

Ich unglücksel’ger Atlas! eine Welt,
I, unhappy Atlas, must bear a world,
Die ganze Welt der Schmerzen muss ich tragen.
the whole world of sorrows.
Ich trage Unerträgliches, und brechen
I bear the unbearable, and my heart
Will mir das Herz im Leibe.
would break within my body.

Du stolzes Herz, du hast es ja gewollt!
Proud heart, you wished it so!
Du wolltest glücklich sein, unendlich glücklich,
You wished to be happy, endlessly happy,
Oder unendlich elend, stolzes Herz,
or endlessly wretched, proud heart!
Und jetzo bist du elend.
And now you are wretched!

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

Heinrich Heine

Heine was born of Jewish parents. Much of his early life was influenced by the financial power of his uncle Salomon Heine, a millionaire Hamburg banker, with whom he remained on an awkward footing for many years. After he had been educated in the…

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