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Was leise gehet unter Herbstesbäumen

Language: German (Deutsch)

Was leise gehet unter Herbstesbäumen
Am grünen Fluß, darüber Möven gleiten --
Es fällt das Laub; Einfalt dunkeler Zeiten.
's ist Gottes Ruh. Die Abendschatten säumen
Ein schwarzer Vogel singt in Herbstesbäumen.

Ein Händefalten müde und einträchtig
Am Abend folgen ihren Vogelzeichen
Die Augen, ehe sie dem Schlummer weichen --
Erinnerung des Knaben sanft und schmächtig.

Ein schwarzer Vogel singt in Herbstesbäumen
Den Frieden dieser Tage süß und mächtig
Auch will die Seele stille sich bereiten.

Translation(s): ENG FRE

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Submitted by Bertram Kottmann and Maria Nimmerfall


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):

  • ENG English (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "Childhood", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2010-11-05.
Last modified: 2016-06-07 09:52:21
Line count: 12
Word count: 74

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Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

What lightly walketh under trees in autumn
by the green stream, o’er which seagulls are gliding - 
the leaves, they fall; pureness of darker ages. 
’Tis  godly peace. The evening shadows tarry
a black-backed bird sings in the trees of autumn. 

A folding of the hands, peaceful and tired;  
at night the eyes follow their bird sign omens,
ere they subside, give way to tranquil slumber - 
memory of the boy child, soft and slender.

A black-backed bird sings in the trees of autumn
the peace of these old days, so sweet and potent,
the soul, too, wants to be prepared in silence.

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 © 2016 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann. Contact:
    <BKottmann (AT)>

    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:
    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on


Text added to the website: 2016-06-07.
Last modified: 2016-06-07 09:52:51
Line count: 12
Word count: 103