Thank you to all the generous supporters who helped us raise $15,792 for our site-renewal project! We can't wait for you to see what we're building! Your ongoing donations are essential for The LiederNet Archive to continue in its mission of providing this unique resource to the world, so if you didn't get a chance to contribute during the overhaul drive, your help in any amount is still valuable.

The LiederNet Archive

Much of our material is not in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission.
Printing texts or translations without the name of the author or translator is also illegal.
You must use the copyright symbol © when you reprint copyright-protected material.

For more information, contact us at the following address:
licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
Please read the instructions below the translations before writing!
In your e-mail, always include the names of the translators if you wish to reprint something.

Des Menschen Seele

Language: German (Deutsch)

Des Menschen Seele
Gleicht dem Wasser:
Vom Himmel kommt es,
Zum Himmel steigt es,
Und wieder nieder
Zur Erde muß es,
Ewig wechselnd.

Strömt von der hohen,
Steilen Felswand
Der reine Strahl,
Dann stäubt er lieblich
In Wolkenwellen
Zum glatten Fels,
Und leicht empfangen,
Wallt [er verschleiernd]1,
Zur Tiefe nieder.

Ragen Klippen
Dem [Sturz']3 entgegen,
Schäumt er unmuthig
[Zum]4 Abgrund.

Im flachen [Bette]5
[Schleicht]6 er das Wiesenthal hin,
Und in dem glatten See
Weiden ihr Antlitz
Alle Gestirne. 

Wind ist der Welle
Lieblicher [Buhler]7;
Wind mischt [vom]8 Grund aus
Schäumende [Wogen]9.

Seele des Menschen,
Wie [gleichst]10 du dem Wasser!
Schicksal des Menschen,
Wie gleichst du dem Wind!

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE ITA

List of language codes

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Goethe's Werke. Vollständige Ausgabe letzter Hand. Zweyter Band. Stuttgart und Tübingen, in der J.G.Cotta'schen Buchhandlung. 1827, pages 58-59; and with Goethe's Schriften, Achter Band, Leipzig, bey Georg Joachim Göschen, 1789, pages 187-188.

1 Schubert (D. 538): "verschleiernd"; and "er verrauschend" in the repetition
2 Schubert (D. 484): "Leisrauschend dann"
3 Goethe (1789 edition): "Sturze"
4 Schubert (D. 484): "Zu dem"
5 Schubert (D. 538 and 714): "Beete"
6 Schubert (D. 484): "Schleichet"
7 Schubert (Alte Gesamtausgabe): "Buhle"
8 Schubert (D. 484 and 538): "von"
9 Schubert (D. 714, Alte Gesamtausgabe): "Wellen"
10 Schubert (D. 484): "gleich"

Submitted by Martin-Beatus Meier 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)

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Gezang der geesten over de wateren", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Shawn Thuris) , "Song of the spirits over the waters", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Chant des esprits sur les eaux", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Canto degli spiriti sopra le acque", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2019-05-03 08:52:16

Line count: 35
Word count: 109

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

L’ànima dels humans

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

L’ànima dels humans
és com l’aigua
que ve del cel,
puja cap el cel,
i de nou ha de tornar
a caure a la terra,
canviant eternament.

Dels alts, abruptes
penya-segats brolla
pur el seu doll,
després suaument
es polvoritza en onejants bromalls
vers el llis rocam
i, fàcilment acollida,
davalla encoberta,
sense fer gaire fressa,
vers la fondària.

Sobresurten roques
barrant  la cascada
que furiosa escumeja
vers l’abisme.

A la llera plana
s’esquitlla per les prades de la vall
i, en el llis mirall del llac,
tots els estels es delecten
veient el seu rostre.

El vent és l’amorós pretendent
de l’onada;
des dels fondals es barreja
amb les ones escumoses.

Ànima dels humans,
com t’assembles a l’aigua!
Destí dels humans,
com t’assembles al vent!

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):
"Gesang der Geister über dem Wasser" = "Cant dels esperits damunt l'aigua"
"Gesang der Geister über den Wassern" = "Cant dels esperits damunt les aigües"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to Catalan (Català) copyright © 2019 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.


    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832), "Gesang der Geister über den Wassern", written 1779, first published 1789 DUT ENG FRE ITA
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Danielle Baas, Wilhelm Reinhard Berger, Michael Gees, Ferdinand von Hiller, Johann Karl Gottfried Loewe, Dietrich Manicke, Antonio Müller-Herrneck, Johannes Schild, Franz Peter Schubert, Eduard Steuermann. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2019-02-02 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2019-02-02 13:35:48

Line count: 35
Word count: 127