Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
Widmung (from the song cycle Myrthen Op. 25, No. 1)
Text by Friedrich Rückert (1788-1866)
Widmung remains a great favourite with audiences and singers alike, often appearing as an encore in song recitals around the world. Schumann, though, composed it as the opening song and Widmung (Dedication) of a set of 26 lieder he composed under the title Myrthen. These songs were composed in 1840, Schumann's 'year of song' when he composed over 150 lieder, largely in celebration of his love for, and marriage to, Clara Wieck. Widmung, itself, is a great paen to the beloved, a lyrical list of love's swings and roundabouts.
Text and translation:
Du meine Seele, du mein Herz,
Du meine Wonn', o du mein Schmerz,
Du meine Welt, in der ich lebe,
Mein Himmel du, darein ich schwebe,
O du mein Grab, in das hinab
Ich ewig meinen Kummer gab.
Du bist die Ruh, du bist der Frieden,
Du bist vom Himmel mir beschieden.
Daß du mich liebst, macht mich mir wert,
Dein Blick hat mich vor mir verklärt,
Du hebst mich liebend über mich,
Mein guter Geist, mein beßres Ich!
You my soul, you my heart,
you my bliss, O you my pain,
you my world in which I live,
my heaven you, to which I float,
O you my grave, into which
my grief forever I've consigned.
You are repose, you are peace,
you are bestowed on me from Heaven.
Your love for me gives me my worth,
your eyes transfigure me in mine,
lovingly you raise me above myself,
my good spirit, my better self!
English translation © George Bird and Richard Stokes, The Fischer-Dieskau Book of Lieder, pub. Victor Gollancz Ltd.