Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826) is primarily known as an opera composer: his opera The Freeshooter (Der Freischütz, sometimes called The Magical Marksman) made his "name" in the Romantic era and is standard repertoire in performing companies to this day.
Like many musicians in both his time and ours, von Weber moved in a distinctive circle: he was first cousin to Mozart's wife and studied with Michael Haydn. Also like many musicians both in history and contemporary times, he, too, composed a Cradle Song, or Wiegenlied, with a peaceful, lilting melody; the lyrics, contributed by C. F. Hiemer, may seem a bit awkward in direct translation—but they're very clearly designed to calm a little one to sleep:
Schliesse die blauen Guckäugelein zu!
Alles ist ruhig, ist still wie im Grab,
schlaf’ nur, ich wehre die Fliegen dir ab.
Engel vom Himmel, so lieblich wie du,
schweben um’s Bettchen und lächeln dir zu
Später zwar steigen sie auch noch herab,
aber sie trocknen nur Tränen Dir ab.
Schlaf Herzenssöhnchen, und kommt gleich die Nacht,
sitzt deine Mutter am Bettchen und wacht.
Sei es so spät auch, und sei es so früh-
Mutterlieb Herzchen entschlummert doch nie!
Sleep my love, my darling are you!
Close your blue eyes!
All is calm is still, like deep rest,
Sleep and I will keep the flies away.
Angels from heaven so darling as you
floating around your little bed and smiling at you;
They climb down to you,
only wiping away your tears.
Sleep my love, night is coming now,
Your mother is sitting by your bed, keeping watch.
Be it so late, and be it so early, too
The love of a mother my dear heart never sleeps!
When you play this Cradle Song by Weber, think in terms of a lilting, rocking rhythm. If you use your imagination, you can almost visualize angels soothing away the troubles of the day…or floating past the piano. Nice image, isn't it?