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The LiederNet Archive

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Der selt'ne Beter

Language: German (Deutsch)

Im Abendgolde glänzet zu Bärenburg das Schloß,
da hällt ein alter Schnurrbart mit seinem Kriegertroß.
Der Feldherr steigt vom Roße, tritt in sein Schloß hinein.
Man sagt, er hätt' gezittert. Weiß nicht, wohl könnt' es sein.

Im Sterben liegt die Tochter, die er geliebt vor Allen,
sie kann mit bleichen Lippen kaum
noch »mein Vater« lallen.
Sichtbar beweget faßt er die todeswelke Hand,
dann hat er still und schweigend zum Garten sich gewandt,

am abgeschiednen Orte, da will er einsam beten,
will mit gebeugten Knieen vor Gott, den Vater treten:
»Du alter Feldherr droben, der größ're Heer führt,
als ich in meinem Leben zusammen kommandiert,
viel Schufte kommen vor dich mit feinem Rednerschwalle,
doch mein' ist nicht studiert
mit schönen Klang und Falle.

Im Sturme von Torino, im Kesseldorfer Drange 
bin ich dir nicht gekommen, heut' ist mir gar zu bange;
du aber, du verstehest, was Vaterschmerzen sind,
komm' auch so bald nicht wieder!
Laß mir mein liebes Kind.«

Nun schreitet er zum Schloße, vom Glauben aufgerichtet.
Die Tochter ist verschieden, da steht er wie vernichtet!
Man sagt, es sei ihm murmelnd noch dieses Wort entfahren:
»wär' Gott zu mir gekommen, wär' nicht so hart verfahren.«

Translation(s): ENG

List of language codes

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


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 (Iain Sneddon) , "The Rare Prayer", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:28

Line count: 25
Word count: 196

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The Rare Prayer

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

The Bärenburg castle is gleaming in the glow of sunset,
There is an old man with a moustache and his warrior's entourage.
The general dismounts from his horse and enters his castle.
It is said that he was trembling. I do not know, it could be true.

The daughter he loved above all is dying,
with pale lips, she can barely whisper "my father."
Visibly moved, he grasps the deathly pale hand,
then he calmly and silently turns to the garden.

In this secluded place, he wants to pray alone,
He wants to appear on bended knee before God the Father:
"You old general up there, you lead a  greater army
than I commanded in my entire life.
A lot of scoundrels come before you with loud prepared speeches,
but mine is not learnèd
with beautiful sounds and cadences.

In the storm of Torino, in the battle of Kesseldorf
I did not call on you, but today I am too anxious;
but you, you who understand a father's pain,
I will not come before you again soon!
Leave me my dear child."

Now he walks to the castle, supported by faith.
His daughter is dead, there he stands like one destroyed!
It is said that he muttered these words:
"If God had come to me, I would not have been so forceful."

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 © 2019 by Iain Sneddon, (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 Heinrich Fitzau (1810 - 1859)
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Eduard Lassen, Johann Karl Gottfried Loewe. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2019-05-11 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2019-05-11 14:59:07

Line count: 24
Word count: 222