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Auf den Tod einer Nachtigall

Language: German (Deutsch)

Sie ist dahin, die Maienlieder tönte;
Die Sängerin,
Die durch ihr Lied den ganzen Hain verschönte,
Sie ist dahin!
Sie, deren Ton mir in die Seele hallte,
Wenn ich am Bach,
Der durch Gebüsch im Abendgolde wallte,
Auf Blumen lag!

Sie gurgelte, tief aus der vollen Kehle,
Den Silberschlag:
Der Wiederhall in seiner Felsenhöhle
Schlug leis' ihn nach.
Die ländlichen Gesäng' und Feldschalmeien
Erklangen drein;
Es tanzeten die Jungfraun ihre Reihen
Im Abendschein.

Auf Moose horcht' ein Jüngling mit Entzücken
Dem holden Laut,
Und schmachtend hing an ihres Lieblings Blicken
Die junge Braut:
Sie drückten sich bei jeder deiner Fugen
Die Hand einmal,
Und hörten nicht, wenn deine Schwestern schlugen,
O Nachtigall.

Sie horchten dir, bis dumpf die Abendklocke
Des Dorfes klang,
Und Hesperus, gleich einer goldnen Flocke,
Aus Wolken drang;
Und gingen dann im Wehn der Maienkühle
Der Hütte zu,
Mit einer Brust voll zärtlicher Gefühle,
Voll süsser Ruh.

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE ITA

List of language codes

Confirmed with Gedichte von Ludewig Heinrich Christoph Hölty. Besorgt durch seine Freunde Friederich Leopold Grafen zu Stolberg und Johann Heinrich Voß. Hamburg, bei Carl Ernst Bohn. 1783, pages 11-12.

This is the version of Hölty's poem heavily reworked by Voß. For the original version, with the title Elegie auf eine Nachtigall, see below.

Submitted by John H. Anderson 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)

Set in a modified version by .

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), [adaptation] ; composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "A la mort d’un rossinyol", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Op de dood van een nachtegaal", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "On the death of a nightingale", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Antonio Zencovich) , "Per la morte di un usignolo", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2018-01-14 09:11:03

Line count: 32
Word count: 150

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     - Emily Ezust

A la mort d’un rossinyol

Language: Catalan (Català) after the German (Deutsch)

Ell és mort, el que entonava les cançons de maig;
el cantaire,
el que embellia tot el boscatge amb el seu cant,
ell és mort!
Ell, de qui la tonada em ressonava a l’ànima,
quan jo, prop del rierol
que fluctuava entre els matolls al capvespre daurat,
jeia damunt les flors!

Ell refilava, del més profund de la seva gola,
sons argentins:
el ressò, a la seva cova rocallosa,
li retornava més fluixet.
Les cançons dels camperols i el so de les xeremies
s’hi barrejaven;
les donzelles dansaven en rotllana
a la llum del capvespre.

Damunt la molsa, un jovencell escoltava
amb delícia els sons encisadors,
i lànguida, es fixava en l’esguard de l’estimat,
la seva jove promesa:
a cadascuna d les seves tornades,
s’agafaven de la mà,
i no sentien quan els teus germans cantaven,
oh rossinyol!

T’escoltaven fins que, somorta, tocava
al capvespre la campana del poble
i Hèsper, com un floc daurat,
sorgia dels núvols;
aleshores en el fresc oreig de maig,
tornaven a la cabana
amb el cor reblert de tendres sentiments,
ple d’una dolça pau.

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 Catalan (Català) copyright © 2018 by Salvador Pila, (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 Ludwig Heinrich Christoph Hölty (1748 - 1776), "Auf den Tod einer Nachtigall", written 1771, first published 1773 DUT ENG FRE GER ITA
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Moritz, Graf von Dietrichstein, August Harder, Franz Peter Schubert, Carl Schultz. Go to the text.
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Johann Heinrich Voss (1751 - 1826), "Auf den Tod einer Nachtigall", written 1771, first published 1773 DUT ENG FRE GER ITA
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Moritz, Graf von Dietrichstein, August Harder, Franz Peter Schubert, Carl Schultz. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2018-02-14 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2018-02-14 12:58:22

Line count: 32
Word count: 180