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Die verfallene Mühle

Language: German (Deutsch)

Es reitet schweigend und allein
Der alte Graf zum Wald hinein.
Er reitet über Stein und Dorn,
Zur Seiten schlendert Schwert und Horn.
Und immer düstrer wird die Bahn,
Wie raget Fels an Fels hinan.
Zu einer Mühle kommt er da,
Doch ist kein Leben fern und nah.
Zerfallen sind die Gänge all,
Kein Mühlrad treibt der Wasser Schwall.
Durch's offne Dach der Himmel schaut,
Getrümmer rings und Wucherkraut.
Nur eine Bank erblickt er drin,
Drauf setzt der düstre Gast sich hin.
Verschränkt die Arme auf der Brust,
Und schließt das Auge unbewußt.
Da wird's lebendig um ihn her;
Die Werke poltern dumpf und schwer.
Das Wasser braust, es lebt der Hain,
Das Mühlrad klappert lustig drein.
Und sieh, mit Säcken ein und aus
Kommt Knecht um Knecht durch Saus und Braus.
Vom Mühlgang, erst noch leer und wüst,
Der Müller freundlich nieder grüßt.
Jetzt fliegt den Steig herab im Sprung,
Sein Töchterlein, gar frisch und jung.
Das Antlitz wie der Himmel klar,
In Flechten tanzt ihr schönes Haar.
Das nah't dem Grafen und kredenzt
Das Glas, d'rinn flüss'ges Gold erglänzt.
Wohl fühlt da, wie in alter Zeit,
Sein Herz der Liebe Seligkeit.
Und auf das Kind den Blick gewandt,
Hinstreckt er nach dem Glas die Hand.
Doch wie nach ihm er greift mit Hast
Da ist's nur Luft, was er erfaßt.
Verschwunden ist so Glas als Wein,
Der Müller und sein Töchterlein.
Kein Mühlrad geht, kein Wasser braust,
Der Wind nur durch's Gebälke saust.
Und wieder auf den Rappen dort
Wirft sich der Graf und reitet fort.
Er reitet stumm den Wald entlang,
Und streift ein Thränlein von der Wang'.

Translation(s): ENG FRE ITA

List of language codes

Confirmed with Balladen und Romanzen von Johann N. Vogl, Wien: J.B. Wallishausser, 1841, pages 82-84.

Submitted by Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Amelia Maria Imbarrato) , title 1: "Il mulino diroccato", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , title 1: "The derelict mill", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Fran├žais) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Le moulin abandonné", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:53
Line count: 44
Word count: 271

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The derelict mill

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Silent and alone there rides
The old duke into the forest.
He rides over rock and thorn,
At his side dangle his sword and horn.
And ever gloomier grows the path,
How cliff after cliff looms.
He comes upon a mill there,
But there is no life far and near.
All of the passageways have collapsed,
The swell of the water drives no mill wheel.
Through the open roof the sky peers in,
Ruins all about, all overgrown with weeds.
Within he sees only a bench,
The sombre guest seats himself upon it.
He crosses his arms upon his breast,
And unknowingly closes his eyes.
Then it becomes lively all about him;
The mill-works rumble dully and heavily.
The water roars, the grove lives,
The mill-wheel clatters merrily.
And see, carrying sacks in and out
Mill-hand upon mill-hand comes through the bustle.
From the walkway, only just empty and desolate,
The miller sends a friendly greeting to those below.
Now flying down the stairs with a skip
Comes his daughter, so dewy and young.
Her face is as clear as the heavens,
Her beautiful hair is dancing in braids.
She approaches the duke and proffers
The glass in which liquid gold is shining.
As in olden times, his heart feels
Then the bliss of love.
And with his gaze turned toward the child
He stretches out his hand for the glass.
But as he hastily reaches for it,
It is only air that he grasps.
Vanished thus is glass as well as wine,
The miller and his daughter.
No mill-wheel turns, no water roars,
Only the wind blows harshly through the beams.
And the duke again throws himself
Upon his steed and rides off.
He rides mutely along the forest
And brushes a tear from his cheek.

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  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2014 by Sharon Krebs, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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Based on
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Johann Nepomuk Vogl (1802 - 1866), "Die verfallene Mühle" FRE ITA
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Johann Karl Gottfried Loewe, Rudolf Wurmb. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2014-01-16.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:05:28
Line count: 44
Word count: 297