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The LiederNet Archive

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Der Gefangene

Language: German (Deutsch) after the Russian (Русский)

Es rauschen Tage immerfort
Sie bringen nicht der Freiheit Hort
Nach Freiheit seufzt im bittern Schmerz
Aus düstrer Kerkernacht mein Herz.
Zum Fenster fliegt mein scheuer Blick
      Mit Thränen,
Ich denke an der Freiheit Glück
      Mit Sehnen.
Der Himmel glüht -- ein ros'ger Kranz --
Das ist der schönen Freiheit Glanz!
Zephyre fächeln rings die Luft
      Mit Kosen,
Es hauchen zarten, süßen Duft
      Die Rosen;
Und Wolken ziehn auf Wolken hin, --
O, daß ich nicht bei ihnen bin!
So schweben, lichten Wolken gleich,
      Die Freuden
Zum düstern, dumpfen Schattenreich
      Und scheiden.
O, laßt mich weilen noch im Licht!
Ach, ich genoß das Leben nicht!
Entreißt mich nicht dem schönen Traum,
      Dem süßen!
Des Lebens Frühling durft' ich kaum
Für die Geliebte schlug mein Herz --
Was ward mir? -- Nur der Sehnsucht Schmerz! --
So singt der Jüngling gramerfüllt
      Sein Leiden;
Er muß in Kerkernacht gehüllt
      Sie meiden,
Doch hin zu ihr, durch Zeit und Raum,
Schwingt sich sein Herz im süßen Traum!

Translation(s): ENG

List of language codes

Confirmed with Blätter zur Kunde der Literatur des Auslands, Dritter Jahrgang, Volume 11, Stuttgart und Augsburg, in der J. F. Cotta'schen Buchhandlung, 1838, page 136.

Submitted by Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]


Based on

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

  • by Heinrich August Marschner (1795 - 1861), "Der Gefangene ", op. 141, published 1849 [voice and piano], Leipzig, Kistner ; note: the Hofmeister catalog indicates this is "nach dem Russischen des Shulkowsky" [sic] [
     text not verified 

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

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , title 1: "The prisoner", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2015-06-01 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2015-06-02 16:39:05

Line count: 36
Word count: 161

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The prisoner

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Ever and ever the days rush
They do not bring the refuge of freedom
      Over here,
From dreary imprisoning night my heart
Is sighing for freedom in bitter pain
To the window flies my shy gaze
      With tears,
I ponder the happiness of freedom
      With longing.
The sky glows -- a rosy wreath --
That is the glory of lovely freedom!
Zephyrs fan the breezes round about
      With caresses,
Delicate, sweet scent is gently released
      By the roses;
And cloud upon cloud passes by, --
Oh, that I am not among them!
Thus waft, like the light clouds,
Toward the gloomy, dull realm of shadows
      And pass away.
Oh, let me still remain in the light!
Ah, I have not yet enjoyed life!
Do not tear me from out my beautiful dream,
      The sweet dream!
The springtime of life I was barely allowed
      To greet.
My heart beat for my beloved --
What did I receive? -- Only the pain of longing! --
Thus sings the youth, full of pain,
      Of his suffering;
Wrapped in prison's darkness he must
      Be parted from her,
But toward her, through time and space,
His heart wings in a sweet dream!

IMPORTANT NOTE: The material directly above is protected by copyright and appears here by special permission. If you wish to copy it and distribute it, you must obtain permission or you will be breaking the law. Once you have permission, you must give credit to the author and display the copyright symbol ©. Copyright infringement is a criminal offense under international law.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2015 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.


    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on
Based on


Text added to the website: 2015-06-03 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2015-06-04 22:25:36

Line count: 36
Word count: 193