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Die bretterne Kammer

Language: German (Deutsch)

Pulvis et umbra sumus.

Die bretterne Kammer
   Der Todten erbebt,
Wenn zwölfmal den Hammer
   Die Mitternacht hebt.
Rasch tanzen um Gräber
   Und morsches Gebein
Wir luftigen Schweber
   Den sausenden Reihn.
Was winseln die Hunde
   Beim schlafenden Herrn?
Sie wittern die Runde
   Der Geister [von]1 fern.
Die Raben entflattern
   Der wüsten Abtei,
Und fliehn [an]2 den Gattern
   Des Kirchhofs vorbei.
Wir gaukeln, [wir]3 scherzen
   Hinab und empor,
Gleich irrenden Kerzen
   Im dunstigen Moor.
O Herz! dessen Zauber
   Zur Marter uns ward,
Du ruhst nun, in tauber
   Verdumpfung, erstarrt.
Tief bargst du im düstern
   Gemach unser Weh;
Wir Glücklichen flüstern
   Dir fröhlich: Ade!

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE ITA

List of language codes

J. Lang sets stanzas 1-5, 7

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von Friedrich von Matthisson. Zweiter Theil. Tübingen, bei Cotta, 1811, pages 104-105, and with Schriften von Friedrich von Matthisson, Volume 1, third edition, Zürich: Orell, Füßli und Compagnie, 1825, pages 222-223.

1 Lang: "so"
2 Lang: "vor"
3 Lang, Schubert (D.116): "und"

Submitted by Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor] 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) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "De dans der geesten", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , subtitle: "We are dust and shadows. --Hor[ace]", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "La danse des esprits", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Antonio Zencovich) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2018-09-05 03:42:32

Line count: 30
Word count: 103

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     - Emily Ezust

La cameretta d'assi

Language: Italian (Italiano) after the German (Deutsch)

La cameretta d'assi
Dei trapassati vibra
Mentre il battaglio con dodici colpi
Annuncia mezzanotte.

Veloci noi formiamo, danzando
Intorno a tombe e ossa sgretolate,
Fantasmi sospesi nell'aria,
Una fila sibilante.

Sapete perché uggiolano i cani
Accanto ai padroni addormentati?
Fiutano la ridda
Degli spiriti da lontano.

I corvi si levano
Dall'abbazia abbandonata
E volteggiano sui cancelli
Di fronte al sagrato della chiesa.

Anche noi svolazziamo scherzando,
Su e giù,
Come candele vagolanti
In una nebbiosa palude.

O cuore, il cui incanto
Fu un tempo il nostro martirio,
Tu adesso riposi 
Impietrito in un sordo ottundimento.

Con te si è sepolto in fondo a un tetro
Ricettacolo1 il nostro dolore
E noi lieti ti sussurriamo
Allegramente: Addio!

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.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Translation of "Der Geistertanz" = "Danza macabra"
1 Alla lettera: "Tu hai racchiuso profondamente in una buia stanza”.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to Italian (Italiano) copyright © 2015 by Antonio Zencovich, (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: 2015-06-07 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2015-06-07 15:22:29

Line count: 28
Word count: 116