It was written exactly two years after he contacted syphilis and the following excerpt is part of a letter Schubert had written to his friend Leopold Kupelweiser:
In a word, I feel myself to be the most unhappy and wretched creature in the world. Imagine a man whose health will never be right again, and who in sheer despair over this ever makes things worse and worse, instead of better; imagine a man, I say, whose most brilliant hopes have come to nothing, to whom the joy of love and friendship have nothing to offer but pain, at best, whose enthusiasm (at least of the stimulating kind) for all things beautiful threatens to vanish, and ask yourself, is he not a miserable, unhappy being? — "My peace is gone, my heart is sore, I shall find it never and nevermore." I may well sing every day now, for each night, I go to bed hoping never to wake again, and each morning only tells me of yesterday's grief.
-Franz Schubert, Dokumente 1817-1830, i: Texte, ed. T. G. Waidelich (Tutzing, 1993) 234
And I just know that I'm not going to let this most beautiful gem escape me and I shall master the transcription of piece for guitar and a string ensemble in the near future.