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Vertraue dich dem Licht der Sterne

Language: German (Deutsch)

Vertraue dich dem Licht der Sterne,
Beschleicht dein Herz ein bitt'res Weh,
Sie sind dir nah' in [weiter]1 Ferne,
Wenn Menschen fern in nächster Näh';
Und hast du Thränen noch, so weine,
O, weine satt dich ungesehn,
Doch vor dem Aug' der Menschen scheine,
Als wär' dir nie ein Leid geschehn!

Verdammt die Welt dich in Verblendung,
So such' auf stillem Waldespfad
Dir neuen Muth für deine Sendung,
Für starke Treu' und freie That;
Um vor dir selber zu bestehen,
Trägst du den Sieger in der Brust,
Doch nicht die Menschen laß es sehen,
Wie schweren Kampf du kämpfen mußt.

Ist dir ein schönes Werk gelungen,
So sei's zu [neuem]2 dir ein Ruf;
Hast du ein treues Herz errungen,
So [denke]3 daß es Gott dir schuf;
Wenn deine süß entzückte Seele
Ganz voll von heil'ger Freude ist,
O, nicht den Neid der Menschen wähle
Zum Zeugen, daß du glücklich bist!

Verachte kühn der Selbstsucht Streben,
Wie oft sie dir Verfolgung schwur;
Vor keinem Throne steh' mit Beben,
Furcht hegt ein bös Gewissen nur.
Demüthig wirf' in nächt'ger Stille
Vor deinem Gott dich auf die Knie'
Und bete: "Es gescheh' dein Wille!"
Doch vor den Menscheu beug' dich nie.

Und wenn dir Gottes Rathschluß sendet
Der schwersten Prüfung höchste Pein,
Dann hast du's, [ganz ihm]4 zugewendet,
Mit ihm zu thun und dir allein;
Davon laß nie die Lippen sprechen,
Ob dir das Herz auch brechen will!
Laß es in tausend Stücke brechen,
Doch vor den Menschen schweige still!

Translation(s): ENG

List of language codes

J. Lang sets stanzas 1, 3, 5 in (at least) one setting - see below for more information
J. Lang sets stanzas 1, 3, 5 in (at least) one setting - see below for more information

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Poet's title (in Polko): "Vertraue dich dem Licht der Sterne"
Poet's title (in his own anthology Leben und Heimath): "Schweige still!"
1 Lang: "später" (but only in the published version; both 1870 manuscripts have "weiter")
2 Lang: "neuen" (but only in the published version; both 1870 manuscripts have "neuem")
3 Lang: "danke" (amibiguous in 1861 and the two 1870 manuscripts)
4 Lang: "ihm ganz" (but only in the 1870 version)

Submitted by 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) , "Remain silent!", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2016-01-11 14:45:37
Line count: 40
Word count: 247

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Remain silent!

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Entrust yourself to the light of the stars
If your heart is overcome by a bitter pain!
They are close to you in the far distance,
When people right beside you are [actually] far away.
And if you still have tears,
Cry yourself out unseen!
But before the eyes of your fellow man,
Be as if no pain had ever touched you!

If, in blindness, the world damns you,
Then seek on quiet forest paths
New courage for your mission,
For strong faithfulness and free deeds;
In your breast you carry the victorious one
Who enables you to remain true in your own eyes,
But never let mankind see
How hard the battle that you must fight.

If you have succeeded at a fine undertaking,
Let it inspire you to [a new work]1!
If you have gained a faithful beloved,
[Recall that God created her/him for you]2.
If your sweetly enraptured soul
Is completely full of holy joy,
Oh do not choose the jealousy of your fellow man
As a witness of your happiness!

Boldly disdain the striving of selfishness,
No matter how often it swore to beset you;
Stand before no throne with trembling,
Fear is harboured only by a bad conscience.
Humbly in the quiet of night throw yourself
On your knees before your God
And pray:  "May Thy will be done!"
But never bow down before men.

And if God's will sends you
The highest pain of the hardest trial,
Then you must turn completely to Him,
And let it be between Him and you alone!
Do not ever let your lips speak of it,
Even if your heart wants to break!
Let it break into a thousand pieces,
But be silent before mankind!

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View original text (without footnotes)
Revised 2011. Translated title for Lang's settings: "Look upward"
Poet's title (in Polko): "Entrust yourself to the light of the stars"
Poet's title (in his own anthology Leben und Heimath): "Remain silent!"
1 Lang: "new works"
2 Lang: "Thank God, who created her/him for you."


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2006 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
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by (Friedrich) Julius Hammer (1810 - 1862), "Schweige still!"
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Josephine Lang, Olivier Lebierre, Arie D. van de Weg, Peter Josef Zwyssig. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2006-05-08.
Last modified: 2018-02-14 18:03:26
Line count: 40
Word count: 287