Der Lindenbaum (The Linden Tree 椴树/菩提树) by Wilhelm Müller

Der Lindenbaum is the 5th of the Winterreise (Winter Journey 冬之旅) cycle of 24 poems by Wilhelm Müller, best known as the song cycle set for voice and piano by Franz Schubert (D. 911, published as Op. 89 in 1827). It is the second of Schubert’s two great song cycles on Müller’s poems. It was originally written for tenor voice but also transcribed for other voice ranges.

Poem/lyric synopsis:  “The wanderer comes to the linden tree, with its pale flowers and heart-shaped leaves that stands at the gate. In the shade of this tree he has dreamt many beautiful dreams, and in the bark he has carved words of love. It was his favourite place. Now he passes it with his eyes shut, even though it is deepest night, but the branches rustle to him, ‘Come to me weary traveler, You’ll find your peace with me’. A gust of wind blows his hat off, and many hours afterwards he remembers the tree, and it seems to say ‘You’ll find your peace with me.’ It is a tacit invitation to suicide.”


Sung by:

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) –

Alexander Kipnis (bass) –

Am Brunnen vor dem Tore
Da steht ein Lindenbaum
Ich träumt in seinem Schatten
So manchen süßen Traum
Ich schnitt in seine Rinde
so manches liebes Wort
Es zog in Freud und Leide
Zu ihm mich immer fort
Die kalten Winde bliesen
Mir grad ins Angesicht
Der Hut flog mir vom Kopfe
Ich wendete mich nicht
Nun bin ich manche Stunde
Entfernt von diesem Ort
Und immer hör ich’s rauschen:
“Du fändest Ruhe dort
 Ich mußt auch heute wandern
Vorbei in tiefer Nacht
Da hab ich noch im Dunkel
Die Augen zugemacht
Und seine Zweige rauschten
Als riefen sie mir zu:
“Komm her zu mir, Geselle
Hier findst du deine Ruh
  [Tr. Frank, 2001]

Outside the gate’s a fountain
And an old Linden tree,
Under its shady branches
My dreams were sweet and free.
I carved in its old bark,
So many phrases dear.
In times of joy and sadness
It always drew me near.

Today I still must wander
All through the gloomy night
’twas then that in the darkness
I closed my eyes so tight.
And I heard branches whisper
As if they called to me:
Come to me weary traveler,
You’ll find your peace with me.

The frigid winds were blowing
Against my face and me.
My hat flew into darkness,
I did not turn to see.
Now I am many hours
Away from this old tree
And still I hear it whispering
You’d find your peace with me.

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