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Auf der Berge freien Höhen

Language: German (Deutsch)

Auf der Berge freien Höhen,
  In der [Mittagsonne]1 Schein,
An des warmen Strahles Kräften
  Zeugt Natur den goldnen Wein.

Und noch Niemand [hats]2 erkundet,
  Wie die große Mutter schafft;
Unergründlich ist [das]3 Wirken,
  Unerforschlich [ist die]4 Kraft.

Funkelnd wie ein Sohn der Sonne,
  Wie des Lichtes Feuerquell,
Springt er perlend aus der Tonne,
  Purpurn und krystallenhell.

Und erfreuet alle Sinnen,
  Und in jede bange Brust
Gießt er ein balsamisch Hoffen
  Und des Lebens neue Lust.

Aber matt auf unsre Zonen
  Fällt der Sonne schräges Licht,
Nur die Blätter kann sie färben,
  Aber Früchte reift sie nicht.

Doch der Norden auch will leben,
  Und was lebt will sich erfreun;
Darum schaffen wir erfindend
  Ohne Weinstock uns den Wein.

Bleich nur ists, was wir bereiten
  Auf dem [häuslichen]5 Altar;
Was Natur lebendig bildet,
  Glänzend ist's und ewig klar.

Aber freudig aus der Schale
  Schöpfen wir die trübe Fluth;
Auch die Kunst ist Himmelsgabe,
  Borgt sie gleich von ird'scher Gluth.

Ihrem Wirken frei gegeben
  Ist der Kräfte großes Reich;
Neues bildend aus dem Alten,
  Stellt sie sich dem Schöpfer gleich.

Selbst das Band der Elemente
  Trennt ihr herrschendes Gebot,
Und sie ahmt mit [Heerdes]6 Flammen
  Nach den hohen Sonnengott.

Fernhin zu den sel'gen Inseln
  Richtet sie der Schiffe Lauf,
Und des [Südens]7 goldne Früchte
  Schüttet sie im Norden auf.

Drum ein Sinnbild und ein Zeichen
  Sey uns dieser Feuersaft,
Was der Mensch sich kann erlangen
  Mit dem Willen und der Kraft.

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE

List of language codes

K. Zelter sets stanzas 1-2

About the headline (FAQ)

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Confirmed with Gedichte von Friederich Schiller, Zweiter Theil, Zweite, verbesserte und vermehrte Auflage, Leipzig, 1805, bei Siegfried Lebrecht Crusius, pages 332-334.

First published in Taschenbuch zum geselligen Vergnügen. Vierzehnter Jahrgang. 1804. Herausgegeben von W.G. Becker. Leipzig, bei Christian Adolph Hempel, pages 163-164, together with Zelter's setting.

1 Schiller (Leipzig 1808 edition), Zelter: "Mittagssonne"
2 Schiller (Taschenbuch 1804): "hat"
3 Zelter: "ihr"
4 Zelter: "ihre"
5 Schiller (Taschenbuch 1804): "irdischen"
6 Schiller (Taschenbuch 1804): "ird'schen"
7 Schiller (Taschenbuch 1804): "Südmeers"

Submitted by Alberto Pedrotti and Peter Rastl [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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Punchlied", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Chant du punch", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2018-09-21 05:50:46
Line count: 48
Word count: 238

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On the open heights of the mountains

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

On the open heights of the mountains,
In the glow of the midday sun,
Using the power of warm rays,
Nature begets golden wine.

And yet noone has managed to find out
How our great Mother creates it;
The workings are unfathomable,
The power is inexplicable.

Sparkling like a son of the sun,
Like the fiery source of light,
It gushes in pearly drops from the barrel,
Crimson and clear as crystal.

And it makes all the senses joyful,
And into each anxious breast
It pours a balsam-like hope
And new delight in life.

But in these zones the light is weak since
The sun's light falls so obliquely;
It can only give colour to leaves,
It does not ripen fruit.

Yet the north wants to live too,
And whatever is alive wants to enjoy itself;
We thus manage to get hold of
Wine even without vines.

It is only pale, what we prepare
On the domestic altar;
What is formed and given life by nature
Is glowing and eternally clear.

But joyfully out of the bowl
We create a cloudy flood;
Even art is a gift from heaven
While it also borrows from earthly embers.

Giving over its workings freely
Is the great kingdom of its strength;
Building new things from old,
It positions itself as equal to the creator.

Even the array of elements
Is divided by its ruling decree,
And using the flames of the hearth it measures
According to the high god of the sun.

Way off towards the blessed isles
It directs the course of the ship,
And the golden fruits of the south
Are deposited in the north.

Therefore let it be a symbol and a sign
For us, this fiery juice,
Of what it is possible for humans to achieve
With determination and with power.

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About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"Auf der Berge freien Höhen" = "On the open heights of the mountains"
"Punschlied" = "Punch song"
"Punschlied: Im Norden zu singen" = "Punch song. To be sung in the north"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2017 by Malcolm Wren, (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 Friedrich von Schiller (1759 - 1805), "Punschlied", subtitle: "Im Norden zu singen", written 1803, first published 1803 CAT DUT FRE
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Hermann Goetz, Friedrich Adrian Götzloff, Johann Friedrich Reichardt, Franz Peter Schubert, Karl Friedrich Zelter. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2017-05-24.
Last modified: 2017-05-24 19:18:20
Line count: 48
Word count: 302