songs composed in PARIS and RIGA 1838 to 1840

Karnevalslied [“Carnival Song“] (C—Autumn 1839, Paris)
“Everything is only Fleeting Images. . . . Nothing is true or calm but heaven!”

Der Tannenbaum [“The Fir Tree’] (C—1838, Riga)
The lad from his barque on the blue lake queries the fir tree, “Why do you look down at me so sadly?” The old fir tree responds, “Because the axe is already after me to fashion your coffin——that makes me so constantly sad, whenever I think of you, lad.”

Erwartung [“Anticipation”] (C—Fall 1839, Paris)
”Rise up and from on high on the horizon in the mist do you not see a steaming horse galloping , with my beloved returning?”

Schlafe mein Kind! [“Sleep, my child”] (Lullaby, C—Fal1 1839, Paris
”Sleep and have no cares! You laugh while sleeping. At your sweet smile my heart bursts. Sleep my charming child!” [Wagner’s first and only Lullaby.]

Die Rose (“The Rose” C—1840, Paris)
”My darling, seize the moment, revel in your youth, for like the rose past its blossoming peak of beauty, Age will dim your beauty!”

Les deux Grenadiers [“The Two Grenadiers”] (Winter 1839 to 1840, Paris, sung in French)
Long captive far away in Russia, two grenadiers were returning to France. Already touching German soil, they hear that Europe has triumphed and shattered the once invincible Grand Army. The Emperor Napoleon has surrended his sword and is being held captive. “I am very ill. Oh! I see blood streaming from my old wound.” The other taunts, “Everything is finished! Oh, I want to die! But back home my children are awaiting me, and their mother, who surely will die of poverty! One must live and suffer for their plaintive voices cry out to me.” The other grenadier, disgusted by talk of wives and children, begs “Oh, my brother bury me with all my weapons and in my tattered uniform, in French soil. When the Emperor returns, urging on his charger, I shall arise from my coffin, and, fully armed, under the folds of the tricolor, I will go again to defend France and the Emperor, my beloved Emperor.”