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Der Pilger

Language: German (Deutsch)

Immer war ich auf der Fahrt,
Immer Pilgersmann,
Wenig hab ich mir bewahrt,
Glück und Weh zerrann.
Unbekannt war Sinn und Ziel
Meiner Wanderschaft,
Tausend Male, daß ich fiel,
Neu mich aufgerafft!
Ach, es war der Liebe Stern,
Den ich suchen ging,
Der so heilig und so fern
In den Höhen hing.
Eh das Ziel mir war bewußt,
Wanderte ich leicht,
Habe manche Höhenlust,
Manches Glück erreicht.
Nun ich kaum den Stern erkannt,
Ist es schon zu spät,
Hat er schon sich abgewandt,
Morgenschauer weht.
Abschied nimmt die bunte Welt,
Die so lieb mir ward.
Hab ich auch das Ziel verfehlt,
Kühn war doch die Fahrt.

Translation(s): ENG FRE

List of language codes

Confirmed with Hermann Hesse, Sämtliche Werke, herausgegeben von Volker Michels, Band 10 Die Gedichte, bearbeitet von Peter Huber, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2002, pages 288-289.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator] and 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) , "The pilgrim", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Le pèlerin", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2009-04-30.
Last modified: 2018-08-15 10:16:28
Line count: 24
Word count: 106

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The pilgrim

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

I was always underway,
Always a pilgrim,
I have retained little,
Happiness and sorrow have faded away.
Unknown were purpose and goal
Of my wandering,
A thousand times I fell
And picked myself up anew!
Ah, it was the star of love
That I went to seek,
[The star] that hung on high,
So holy and so distant.
Before I was aware of the goal,
I wandered lightly,
I attained many a delight on high,
Many a happiness.
Now that I have only just recognized the star,
It is already too late;
The star has already turned away from me,
The chill of morning blows about me.
The colourful world takes farewell,
[The world] that was so precious to me.
Even though I have failed to reach my goal,
The journey was nevertheless bold.

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 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
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962), "Der Pilger", written 1921 FRE
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Waldemar Edler von Baußnern, Richard Junker. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2016-09-11.
Last modified: 2016-09-11 09:26:53
Line count: 24
Word count: 134