The LiederNet Archive
WARNING. Not all the material on this website is in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission.
For more information, contact us at the following address:
licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net


Language: German (Deutsch)

Vom Baum des Lebens fällt 
Mir Blatt um Blatt,
O taumelbunte Welt, 
Wie machst du satt, 
Wie machst du satt und müd, 
Wie machst du trunken! 
Was heut noch glüht, 
Ist bald versunken. 
Bald klirrt der Wind 
Über mein braunes Grab, 
Über das kleine Kind 
Beugt sich die Mutter herab. 
Ihre Augen will ich wiedersehn, 
Ihr Blick ist mein Stern,
Alles andre mag gehn und verwehn, 
Alles stirbt, alles stirbt gern. 
Nur die ewige Mutter bleibt, 
Von der wir kamen, 
Ihr spielender Finger schreibt 
In die flüchtige Luft unsre Namen.

Translation(s): ENG FRE

List of language codes

K. Penderecki sets lines 1-8

Confirmed with Hermann Hesse, Sämtliche Werke, herausgegeben von Volker Michels, Band 8 Die Erzählungen. 1911-1954, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2001, page 321 (no title in this publication).

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 256.

Submitted by John Versmoren 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) , "Mortality", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Fugacité", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2018-03-22 23:10:18
Line count: 20
Word count: 90

Gentle Reminder
This website began in 1995 as a personal project, and I have been working on it full-time without a salary since 2008. Our research has never had any government or institutional funding, so if you found the information here useful, please consider making a donation. Your gift is greatly appreciated.
     - Emily Ezust


Language: French (Français) after the German (Deutsch)

De l'arbre de vie tombe
Feuille après feuille,
Ô monde, tourbillonnant de couleurs,
Comme tu rassasies,
Comme tu rassasies et épuises,
Comme tu enivres !
Ce qui brille encore aujourd'hui
Sera bientôt éteint.
Bientôt le vent soufflera
Sur ma tombe brune,
Sur le petit enfant
La mère s'incline.
Je veux voir ses yeux encore,
Son regard est mon étoile,
Tout le reste peut aller et disparaître,
Tout meurt, tout meurt volontiers.
Seule reste la mère éternelle
D'où nous sommes venus,
Son doigt en jouant écrit
Nos noms dans l'air qui passe.

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 French (Français) copyright © 2018 by Guy Laffaille, (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
    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962), "Vergänglichkeit", written 1919, appears in Klingsors letzter Sommer, first published 1919? ENG
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Yrjö Henrik Kilpinen, Franz Krause, Ernst Ludwig Leitner, Fabian Müller, Hans Nahme, Krzysztof Penderecki, Leo Schiffer, Immo Schneider, Othmar Schoeck, Karl Scholz. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2018-11-04.
Last modified: 2018-11-04 06:03:54
Line count: 20
Word count: 91