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Hört mich, Ihr grausamen Götter!

Language: German (Deutsch)

Hört mich, Ihr grausamen Götter!
Hab' ich mein Dasein erfleht?
War es mein Wille, zu leben?
Schuf ich mich so, wie ich wurde?--
Was straft Ihr mich dennoch?--

Konntet Ihr nicht einen Felsen
Schaffen an meiner Statt? So
Hart und so kalt, der der Meerfluth
Stand hält? Mich fassen die Fluthen --
Ich trotze und sinke!

O Ihr erhabenen [Götter]1
Kennet nicht menschliches Fühlen,
Fern ist Euch Bangen und Seufzen,--
Darum erschuft Ihr den Menschen
Als fühlendes Spielzeug.

Nimmermehr will ich erflehen
Gaben von Euch; ja, ich flehe
Jetzo schon nicht mehr -- Ihr lächelt
Kalt doch und fern wie der Himmel,
Ihr grausamen Götter!

Translation(s): ENG

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About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with: Carmen Sylva, Sappho, Leipzig: F.A. Brockhaus, 1880, pages 31-32.

1 Sommer: "Götter Ihr"

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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2014-12-26.
Last modified: 2017-05-20 07:08:14
Line count: 20
Word count: 103

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Hear me, you cruel gods!

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Hear me, you cruel gods!
Did I plead for my existence?
Was it my will to live?
Did you create me as I have become?--
Why do you punish me nonetheless? --

Could you not have created
A rock in my place, so
Hard and so cold, that could stand up against
The flood of the sea?  I am caught by the torrents--
I defy them and sink!

Oh you august gods1
Do not know human feelings,
Anxiety and sighs are far from you,--
Therefore you created humankind
To be a feeling toy [for yourselves].

Nevermore shall I implore you
For gifts; yes, I already
No longer implore you -- you smile
But coldly and distantly as the heavens,
You cruel gods!

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About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Sommer inserts "you"


  • 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


Text added to the website: 2014-12-26.
Last modified: 2014-12-26 16:23:11
Line count: 20
Word count: 120