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Du Dunkelheit, aus der ich stamme

Language: German (Deutsch)

Du Dunkelheit, aus der ich stamme,
ich liebe dich mehr als die Flamme,
welche die Welt begrenzt,
indem sie glänzt
für irgend einen Kreis,
aus dem heraus kein Wesen von ihr weiß.

Aber die Dunkelheit hält alles an sich:
Gestalten und Flammen, Tiere und mich,
wie sie's errafft,
Menschen und Mächte. --

Und es kann sein: eine große Kraft
rührt sich in meiner Nachbarschaft.

Ich glaube an Nächte.

Translation(s): ENG ENG FRE

List of language codes

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Rainer Maria Rilke, Die Gedichte, Frankfurt am Main: Insel Verlag, 1997, pages 204-205.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator] 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)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

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

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Toi, obscurité", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2018-11-01 18:50:41
Line count: 13
Word count: 67

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Thou darkness whence I originate

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Thou darkness whence I originate,
I love you more than the flame
that circumscribes the world
as it shines
for any a circle,
from out of which no creature knows of it.

But the darkness holds everything to itself:
figures and flames, animals and me,
as it grasps it all for itself,
people and powers. --

And it might well be: a great power
is moving in my neighbourhood.

I believe in nights.

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.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"Du Dunkelheit, aus der ich stamme" = "Thou darkness whence I originate"
"Du Dunkelheit" = "Thou darkness"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2018 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: 2018-12-01.
Last modified: 2018-12-01 11:22:27
Line count: 13
Word count: 72