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Der Selbstmord

Language: German (Deutsch)

   O Jüngling, lern aus der Geschichte,
Die dich vielleicht zu Thränen zwingt,
Was für bejammernswerthe Früchte
Die Liebe zu den Schönen bringt!

   Ein Beispiel wohlgezogner Jugend,
Des alten Vaters Trost und Stab,
Ein Jüngling, der durch frühe Tugend
Zur größten Hoffnung Anlaß gab;

   Den zwang die Macht der schönen Triebe,
Climenen zärtlich nachzugehn.
Er seufzt, er bat um Gegenliebe;
Allein vergebens war sein Flehn.

   Fußfällig klagt er ihr sein Leiden.
Umsonst! Climene heißt ihn fliehn.
Ja, schreyt er, ja ich will dich meiden;
Ich will mich ewig dir entziehn.

   Er reißt den Degen aus der Scheide.
Und -- o was kann verwegner seyn!
Kurz, er besieht die Spitz und Schneide, 
Und steckt ihn langsam wieder ein.

Translation(s): ENG

List of language codes

Confirmed with C.F. Gellert’s sämmtliche Schriften, Neue rechtmäßige Ausgabe, Erster Theil, Berlin: Weinmannsche Buchhandlung, Leipzig: Hahn'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1867, page 62

Submitted by 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) , "The suicide", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2012-07-26.
Last modified: 2017-09-13 00:18:59
Line count: 20
Word count: 116

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The suicide

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

   Oh young man, learn from the history
That perhaps shall force tears from your eyes,
What sort of lamentable fruits
Are brought by love of beautiful women!

   A model of well-brought-up youth,
The comfort and staff of his old father,
A young man who, through virtue manifested early in his life,
Gave cause for the greatest hopes;

   The power of the lovely instincts forced him
To pursue Climene with tenderness.
He sighed, he asked for love in return;
But his pleading was in vain.

   On bended knee he told her of his suffering.
For naught! Climene tells him to be off.
Yes, he screams, yes, I shall eschew you;
I shall withdraw from you forever.

   He wrests his dagger from its sheath.
And -- oh what could be more reckless!
In short, he gazes upon the point and cutting edge,
And slowly he returns the dagger to its sheath.

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.


    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
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Based on


Text added to the website: 2017-09-14.
Last modified: 2017-09-14 16:15:47
Line count: 20
Word count: 149