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Die Schatten

Language: German (Deutsch)

Freunde, deren Grüfte sich schon bemoosten!
[Wann]1 der Vollmond über dem Walde dämmert,
Schweben eure Schatten empor vom stillen
Ufer der Lethe.

Seid mir, Unvergeßliche, froh gesegnet!
Du vor Allen, welcher im Buch' der Menschheit
Mir der Hieroglyphen so viel gedeutet,
Redlicher Bonnet!

Längst verschlürft im Strudel der Brandung wäre
Wohl mein Fahrzug oder am Riff zerschmettert, 
Hättet ihr nicht, Genien gleich, im Sturme
Schirmend gewaltet.

Wiedersehn der Liebenden! wo der Heimath
Goldne Sterne leuchten, o du der armen
Psyche, die gebunden im Grabthal schmachtet, 
[Heiligste]2 Sehnsucht!

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE

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View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von Matthisson. Fünfte vermehrte Auflage. Zürich, bei Orell, Füssli und Compagnie. 1802, pages 64-65; and with Gedichte von Friedrich von Matthisson. Zweiter Theil. Tübingen, bei Cotta, 1811, page 103.

First published in Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1799, herausgegeben von Schiller, Tübingen, in der J.G.Cottaischen Buchhandlung, page 143 (only stanza 1-3).

1 Matthisson (1811 edition): "Wenn"
2 Schubert: "Himmlische"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator] and Peter Rastl [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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Les ombres", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "De schimmen", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "The shadows", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Les ombres", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2017-12-29 08:16:54
Line count: 16
Word count: 87

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The shadows

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Friends whose crypts are already overgrown with moss!
When the full moon shines over the wood,
your shadows float up
from the silent banks of Lethe.

Be happily blessed by me, unforgettable ones,
You above all, who, in the book of mankind
explained so many mysterious things to me,
honest Bonnet!

My vessel would long ago have been 
pulled into a whirlpool of surf
or shattered against a reef, 
had you not, like genies, 
provided a shield for me against the storm!

The farewells, farewells of lovers! --
Where the golden stars of home gleam,
O you, heavenly yearning 
of poor Psyche, 
who languishes, bound, in a valley grave!

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  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive --

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

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Based on


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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:40
Line count: 18
Word count: 108