The most important poetic yield of Rückerts Oriental studies was the book of Oriental lyrics called Oestliche Rosen Roses of the East , much admired by Goethe. The translation is by no means literal, and lacks the crispness and freshness of Oriental antithesis. Friedrich Rückert was born at Schweinfurt on May 16th, 1788. Possibly the Italian journey was in some respects disenchanting. It contains a wealth of wisdom, wrought into finely fashioned forms.
He was buried in his studies, in a small house outside of the village, where he spent half of every day alone, and inaccessible to every one; but his youngest daughter ventured to summon him away from his books. His life was that of the typical German scholar; but he retained the freshness of the poets heart, and the expression quoted aboveEvery language possesses life for meis characteristic: he infused vitality into all he taught. In 1841, he was given a similar position in Berlin, where he also became a privy councillor. The first stanza may, in most cases, be tolerably reproduced; but as it usually contains a refrain, which is repeated to a constantly varied rhyme, throughout the whole song or poem, the labor at first becomes desperate, and then impossible. It is thanks to Rückert that the rich heritage of the Orient was explored in such detail over the course of the following century. The Library of the Worlds Best Literature.
The Frankish poet was never quite at home in the Prussian capital; but he held his position till 1848, when he retired definitely to the happy life of a gardener and scholar at Neuses, near Coburg. Yet, although with these poets in time, Rückert was not of them in the structure of his mind or the character of his poetical development. Du bist ein Schatten am Tage, Doch in der Nacht ein Licht; Du lebst in meiner Klage, Und stirbst im Herzen nicht. My interest in Oriental literature had been refreshed, at that time, by nearly ten months of travel in Eastern lands, and some knowledge of modern colloquial Arabic. The lyric, the gnomic, the didactic, were his proper element. With this poem Rückert established himself permanently in the German heart, into which he had first entered singing his lays of love and of war.
These were published in Deutsche Gedichte German Poems in 1814, under the pseudonym of Freimund Reimar. Amid the throng she passed along the meadow-floor; Spring seemed to smile on earth awhile, and then no more, But whence she came, which way she went, what garb she wore, I noted not; I gazed awhile, and then no more. Library of Congress, Washington, D. To the holy angel quire From the earth, O let us flee! So may, perchance, a meteor glance at midnight o'er Some ruined pile a little while, and then no more. Where the two, together turning, Meet, the rounded heaven is burning Rosy-bright in one celestial brand! He looked up with a keen light in his eyes. The old silk-merchant of Bosrah never could have anticipated such an immortality.
This secluded habit engendered a shyness of manner, which frequently repelled the strangers who came to see him,—especially those who failed to detect the simple, tender, genial nature of the man, under his wonderful load of learning. Dearest, how thy music's charms Waft me dancing through the sky! Several historical plays remain to show that the drama was not his field. Late in November I found him, apparently unchanged in body and spirit,—simple, enthusiastic, and, in spite of his seclusion, awake to all the movements of the world. Uhland was more racy of the German soil, and his ballads and lyrics have the touch of the autochthonous folk-song; his scholarship was Germanistic. The sound of our steps startled him; and as he straightened himself and faced us, I saw that it could be none other than Rückert.
The popular Haus und Jahreslieder Songs of the House and Year show how Rückert was able to bring the most insignificant and unpromising subjects into poetic relations with fair and lofty thoughts. Like a Memmon's statue now Every letter seems, Which in music wakes, when kissed By the morning's beams. What though he leave me? Where are wood and sea and shepherd's song? With the exception of a somewhat acridly hostile criticism, which the Jahrbücher of Halle dealt out to him for several years in succession, his reputation has enjoyed a gradual and steady growth since his first appearance as a poet. . The latter, who was in the habit of consulting Rückert in regard to his Sanskrit studies, offered at once to conduct me to Neuses.
I am aware that I shall shock ears familiar with the original by substituting masculine rhymes in the two stanzas which I present; but there is really no alternative. One of his married sons was then visiting him, so that the household was larger and livelier than usual; but, as he sat, during the evening, in his favorite arm-chair, with pipe and beer, he fell into the same brilliant, wise strain of talk, undisturbed by all the cheerful young voices around him. She still, although now a grandmother, retained some traces of the fresh, rosy beauty of her younger days; and it was pleasant to see the watchful, tender interest upon her face, whenever she turned towards the poet. In this respect, he was as influential as Goethe, Herder and Schlegel. It was rather a monologue on the subject of Arabic poetry, full of the clearest and richest knowledge, and sparkling with those evanescent felicities of diction which can so rarely be recalled. Thenceforth the study of the Oriental languages and literatures became his chief occupation and life task. Its tone is quietistic, as might readily be conjectured, but it is the calm of serene reflection, not of indifference.
The student presented me to him as an American traveller, whereat I thought he seemed to experience a little relief. Instrumentation of Mahler's Rückert-Lieder Blicke mir nicht. But the stores of wisdom and learning which filled the poets mind received artistic expression in the finest didactic poem of German literature, Die Weisheit des Brahmanen The Brahmans Wisdom. His translations from the Indian, Hebrew, Persian, Arabian, and Chinese are permanent enrichments of the literature of Germany; the writings of Sadī, Firdawsī, and Kālidāsa he has transformed into German classics: and in this sense he is the greatest and worthiest successor of Herder and Goethe in their strivings toward the ideal of a universal literature. No work which Rückert ever wrote so strongly illustrates the incessant activity of his mind. He admitted that its chances for becoming the dominant tongue of the world were greater than those of any other.
It contained, among other things, his famous Geharnischte Sonette Sonnets in Armor , which are still read and admired as masterpieces of that form of verse. The afternoon was warm and sunny, and a hazy, idyllic atmosphere veiled and threw into remoteness the bolder features of the landscape. The last song, Liebst du um Schönheit, was not orchestrated by Mahler himself but by Max Puttmann, an employee of the first publisher, after Mahler's death. Three years before, Goethe had published his Westöstlicher Divan, and the younger poet dedicated his first venture in the same field to his venerable predecessor, in stanzas which express the most delicate, and at the same time the most generous homage. He was never so happy as when alone with his books and manuscripts, studying or writing, according to the dominant mood. These gradually became a necessity of his daily life; his health, his mental peace, depended upon them; and whatever disturbed their regular recurrence took from him more than the mere time lost. The still retiracy of wood and garden, nursery and home, he has sung most movingly.
Later, he lived on his estate Neuses, near Cobur Friedrich published his first volume of poetry under the pseudonym Freimund Raimar, in 1814 while Germany was at war with Napoleon. The parallel with Uhland is obvious. In the autumn of 1817 he went to Italy; but Rome did not throw its powerful enchantment about him as it had around Goethe and Platen. Like the angels I would be Without mortal frame, Whose sweet converse is like thought, Sounding with acclaim; Or like flowers in the dale; Like the stars that glow, Whose love-song's a beam, whose words Like sweet odors flow; Or like to the breeze of morn, Waving round its rose, In love's dallying caress Melting as it blows. His eyes were deep-set, bluish-gray, and burned with a deep, lustrous fire as he became animated in conversation. Half of these six thousand couplets are terse and pithy enough for proverbs, and their construction would have sufficed for the lifetime of many poets.