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An eine chinesische Sängerin

Language: German (Deutsch)

Auf dem stillen Flusse sind wir am Abend gefahren,
Rosig stand und beglänzt der Akazienbaum,
Rosig strahlten die Wolken. Ich aber sah sie kaum,
Sah nur die Pflaumenblüte in deinen Haaren.

Lächelnd saßest du vorn im geschmückten Boote,
Hieltest die Laute in der geübten Hand,
Sangest das Lied vom heiligen Vaterland,
Während in deinen Augen die Jugend lohte.

Schweigend stand ich am Mast und wünschte mir, ohne Ende
Dieser glühenden Augen Sklave zu sein,
Ewig dem Liede zu lauschen in seliger Pein
Und dem beglückenden Spiel deiner blumenhaft zarten Hände.

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 179-180.

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 a Chinese singer", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "À une chanteuse chinoise", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2009-05-04.
Last modified: 2018-07-24 19:36:00
Line count: 12
Word count: 90

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To a Chinese singer

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Upon a quiet river we floated in the evening,
The acacia tree stood rosy and beglistened,
Rosily the clouds shone.  But I hardly saw them,
Saw only the plum blossom in your hair.
Smiling, you sat in the prow of the adorned boat,
Held the lute in your adept hand,
Sang the song of the holy fatherland,
While youth blazed in your eyes.
Silently I stood against the mast and wished, without end,
To be the slave of these glowing eyes,
In blissful anguish to listen eternally to the song
And to the exhilarating play of your delicate, flower-like hands.

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 eine chinesische Sängerin", written c1911 FRE
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Richard Czelinski, Franz Krause. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2016-11-08.
Last modified: 2016-11-08 13:42:27
Line count: 12
Word count: 100