Fruhlingsglaube – Johann Ludwig Uhland and Schubert

Floriade15Floriade – Spring Flower Festival in Commonwealth Gardens Canberra

It is Spring in Australia and here is a German poem by the romantic lyric poet Johann Ludwig Uhland (1787-1862).

Fruhlingsglaube

Die linden Lüfte sind erwacht,
Sie säuseln und wehen Tag und Nacht,
Sie schaffen an allen Enden.
O frischer Duft, o neuer Klang!
Nun, armes Herze, sei nicht bang!
Nun muß sich alles, alles wenden.

Die Welt wird schöner mit jedem Tag,
Man weiß nicht, was noch werden mag,
Das Blühen will nicht enden;
Es blüht das fernste, tiefste Tal:
Nun, armes Herz, vergiß der Qual!
Nun muß sich alles, alles wenden.

Below are two translations from the internet …

Spring’s Faith (re: this Blogspot post)

The mild breezes are awakened,
They whisper and move day and night,
And are at work everywhere.
O fresh scent, o new sound!
Now, poor heart, don’t be afraid.
Now all, all must change.

The world is more beautiful with every day,
One knows not what yet may be,
The flowering will not end.
Even the deepest, most distant valley blooms.
Now, poor heart, forget your torment.
Now all, all must change.

Faith in Spring (Re -Poemhunter)

The gentle winds are awakened,
They murmur and waft day and night,
They create in every corner.
Oh fresh scent, oh new sound!
Now, poor dear, fear not!
Now everything, everything must change.
The world becomes more beautiful with each day,
One does not know what may yet happen,
The blooming doesn’t want to end.
The farthest, deepest valley blooms:
Now, poor dear, forget the pain!
Now everything, everything must change.

This highlights the problems with translations. It is a often a matter of personal taste for some words may be more fitting to the theme than others. It is up to the reader to choose. It may be a case of taking a combination from various translations to fit your preference. For example the first three lines could be as follows …

The gentle winds awake – (I prefer gentle to mild)
They murmur and waft day and night
And are at work every where

However of more importance, this poem inspired Franz Schubert‘s, (1797-1828) to compose a lieder and this is a link to a Youtube video of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau singing Fruhlingsglaube  … and here is the text from this song …

the gentle breezes have awakened,
they whisper and float day and night,
they create on all sides.
On all sides.
O fresh fragrance, O new sound!
O new sound!
Now, poor heart, be not afraid!
Now all, all must change.
Now all, all must change.

The world becomes more beautiful with every day,
No one knows what may become,
The blossoming will not end;
It will not end;
It blooms in the farthest, deepest valley:
It blooms in the deepest valley:
Now, poor heart, forget thy pain!
Now all, all must change.
Now all, all must change.

… so again the original poem is transformed and in this case married into a new art-form while still retaining the essence of the text and if you have watched and listened to the Youtube video you will see that ‘Spring images’ also accompany both the audio and the words.

Clearly if it hadn’t been for Schubert this poem would not have reached such prominence in the public ear.

Considering the line … The world becomes more beautiful with every day … I immediately thought of Gerard Manley Hopkins and … The world is charged with the grandeur of God from ‘God’s Grandeur’ – whether or not we are able to see beauty in each day is another matter!

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