Christian Fürchtegott Gellert

Gellert, Christian Fürchtegott (krĭsˈtyän fürkhˈtəgôt gĕlˈərt) [key], 1715–69, German poet and moralist. His best-known works are Fabeln und Erzählungen (1746–48, tr. Fables and Other Poems, 1850), the novel Leben der schwedischen Gräfin von G–––––– (1747–48, tr. The History of the Swedish Countess of G––––––, 1752), and the collection of hymns, Geistliche Oden und Lieder (1757). His emphasis on simplicity and heartfelt expression made him one of Germany's literary and spiritual arbiters. Lessing, Klopstock, and Goethe were his students. His poems were set to music by many composers, among them C. P. E. Bach, Haydn, and Beethoven.

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