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Language: German (Deutsch)

Wetterbraune, dichtgedrängte Fassaden,
Marienbilder in verborgenen Nischen,
Wasserspiegel und träge Gondeln dazwischen
Und breite Barken mit braunen Fischern beladen.
Überall aber, auf jeder bröckelnden Mauer,
In allen Gassen, auf Treppen und in Kanälen
Liegt eingeschlummert eine verzweifelte Trauer
Und will von vergangenen Zeiten erzählen.
Leise geh ich und mit verborgenem Schrecken
Über die Fliesen - ängstlich, ich möchte sie wecken.
Wenn sie erwachte! Ich könnte nimmer entrinnen!
Eilend schreit' ich vorbei und suche den Hafen,
Suche das Meer und ein reisendes Schiff zu gewinnen.
Hinter mir zögern traurig die Gassen und schlafen.

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, page 118.

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) , "Chioggia", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Chioggia", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2009-05-24.
Last modified: 2018-03-20 14:54:08
Line count: 14
Word count: 92

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Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Weathered, closely crowded facades,
Images of the Virgin Mary in hidden niches,
Water surfaces and languid gondolas among them
And wide barques laden with tanned fishermen.
But everywhere, upon every crumbling wall,
In all the alleys, upon steps and in canals
Lies asleep a forlorn sorrow
And wants to tell of bygone times.
I walk softly and with concealed dread
Over the tiles - fearful that I might waken it.
If it awoke! I could never escape!
Hurriedly I stride past and seek the harbour,
Seek the sea and to find a departing ship.
Behind me the alleys linger sadly and sleep.

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 © 2017 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), "Chioggia", written 1901 FRE
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Richard Maux. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2017-04-29.
Last modified: 2017-04-29 14:44:26
Line count: 14
Word count: 102