December 13 ~  When Music Begins Songs of Love & Grief

"When words leave off, music begins." ~ Heinrich Heine

Heinrich Heine (1797- 1856) Born on this day in Düsseldorf, German poet Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) studied law before publishing his poetry in 1822.

"The fountain of love is the rose and the lily, the sun and the dove," he once observed.

His best known work, Buch der Lieder (The Book of Songs), was published in 1827. His lyric poetry has been celebrated in over 3,000 musical works.

"The heart is like the sea," said the romantic writer. "Subject to storms, ebb tide, and flood, and in its depth is many a precious pearl."

To escape German censorship, Heine worked as a journalist in Paris during the French Revolution, a time of change and new ideas celebrated by the works of such writers as George Sand and Victor Hugo.

"Out of my great woe I make my little song," Heine believed, an advocate for political action. "Experience is a good school, but the fees are high."

Music communicates without words.