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An die Melancholie

Language: German (Deutsch)

Zum Wein, zu Freunden bin ich dir entflohn,
Da mir vor deinem dunklen Auge graute,
In Liebesarmen und beim Klang der Laute
Vergaß ich dich, dein ungetreuer Sohn.

Du aber gingest mir verschwiegen nach
Und warst im Wein, den ich verzweifelt zechte,
Warst in der Schwüle meiner Liebesnächte
Und warest noch im Hohn, den ich dir sprach.

Nun kühlst du die erschöpften Glieder mir
Und hast mein Haupt in deinen Schoß genommen,
Da ich von meinen Fahrten heimgekommen:
Denn all mein Irren war ein Weg zu dir.

Translation(s): ENG FRE ITA

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 201-202.

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) , "To melancholy", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "À la mélancolie", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Alla malinconia", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2009-05-21.
Last modified: 2018-07-12 15:46:32
Line count: 12
Word count: 87

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To melancholy

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Because I felt horror at the sight of your dark eyes,
I fled to wine, to friends, in order to escape you,
In the arms of love and by the sound of the lute
I, your unfaithful son, forgot you.
But you followed me silently,
And you were in the wine that I quaffed desperately,
You were in the fervour of my nights of love
And were even in the derision that I directed at you.
Now you cool my exhausted limbs
And have taken my head into your lap,
When I have come home from all my journeying:
For all my straying was a path to you.

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), "An die Melancholie", written 1912 FRE ITA
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Wilhelm Lache, Theophil Laitenberger, Ernst Ludwig Leitner. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2016-11-08.
Last modified: 2016-11-08 13:41:48
Line count: 12
Word count: 108