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Wir schnitten die Saaten

Language: German (Deutsch)

Wir schnitten die Saaten,
wir Buben und Dirnen,
mit nackenden Armen
und triefenden Stirnen,
von donnernden dunkeln
Gewittern bedroht.
Gerettet das Korn.
Und nicht Einer der darbe.
Von Garbe zu Garbe
ist Raum für den Tod.
Wie schwellen die Lippen
des Lebens so rot!

Hoch tronet ihr Schönen,
auf güldenen Sitzen,
in strotzenden Garben,
umflimmert von Blitzen.
Nicht Eine die darbe!
Wir bringen das Brot!
Zum Reigen! Zum Tanze!
Zur tosenden Runde!
Von Munde zu Munde
ist Raum für den Tod.
Wie schwellen die Lippen
des Lebens so rot!

Translation(s): ENG FRE

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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 (Peter Palmer) , "Song of the reapers", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Fran├žais) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:41
Line count: 24
Word count: 89

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Song of the reapers

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

We mowed the corn,
we lads and lasses,
with our arms bare
and drops on our brows,
while thunderous dark
storm-clouds loomed.
The crop has been saved!
And not one jot was lost!
Between sheaf and sheaf
there is space for death.
What a red swelling up
of the lips of life!

Aloft you sit, beauties,
on golden thrones,
in brimming sheaves,
surrounded by lightning flashes.
Not one jot was lost!
We are fetching the bread in!
Come to the round-dance! come!
To the boisterous round!
Between mouth and mouth
there is space for death.
What a red swelling up
of the lips of life!

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 © 2009 by Peter Palmer, (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 Conrad Ferdinand Meyer (1825 - 1898), "Schnitterlied" FRE
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Volkmar Andreae, Jan Pieter Hendrik van Gilse, Karl Hallwachs, Hans Erich Pfitzner, Armin Schibler, Heinrich Kaspar Schmid, Richard Trunk, Viktor Ullmann. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2009-11-14.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:27
Line count: 24
Word count: 105