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Der arme Grenadier

Language: German (Deutsch)

Spät schreiben sie am Feuer,
All', eh die Schlacht beginnt;
Der an die liebe Mutter,
Und der an Weib und Kind.

Der an den Kameraden,
Und der an seine Braut;
Ernst knien sie vor den Trommeln,
Verstummt ist jeder Laut.

Nur er hat Nichts zu schreiben,
Starrt bleich auf sein Papier,
In jeder Schlacht der erste,
Der brävste Grenadier.

Sein Lieb ist untreu worden,
Die Seinen alle todt!--
Kommt Morgens wohl die Kugel,
Und endet seine Noth?

Translation(s): ENG

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Confirmed with Deutsche Dichterhalle. Organ für deutsche Dichtkunst, erster Band, Leipzig: Selbst-Verlag, Expedition der Deutschen Dichterhalle, 1872.

Confirmed with Liederbuch von Friedrich Oser, 1842-1874, mit einem biographischen Verzeichnis der Componisten, Basel: Benno Schwabe, Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1875, page 358

Submitted by Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor] and Melanie Trumbull


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 poor grenadier", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2011-04-04.
Last modified: 2017-05-21 14:58:05
Line count: 16
Word count: 77

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The poor grenadier

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Late at night by the fire they write,
All of them, before the battle begins;
That one to his dear mother,
And that one to wife and child.

That one to a comrade
And that one to his fiancée;
Solemnly they kneel before the drums,
Every sound has ceased.

Only he has nothing to write,
Pale, he stares at his piece of paper,
[He who] in every battle was the first,
The bravest grenadier.

His love has become unfaithful to him,
All his kin are dead! --
Shall the morrow bring a bullet
And end all his suffering?

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


Text added to the website: 2017-08-15.
Last modified: 2017-08-15 13:48:49
Line count: 16
Word count: 97