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The LiederNet Archive

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Mahomets Gesang

Language: German (Deutsch)

Seht den Felsenquell,
Wie ein Sternenblick;
Ueber Wolken
Nährten seine Jugend
Gute Geister
Zwischen Klippen im Gebüsch.

Tanzt er aus der Wolke2
Auf die Marmorfelsen nieder,
Jauchzet wieder
Nach dem Himmel.3

Durch die Gipfelgänge
Jagt er bunten Kieseln nach,
Und mit frühem Führertritt
Reißt er seine Bruderquellen
Mit sich fort.

Drunten [werden]4 in dem Thal
Unter seinem Fußtritt Blumen,
Und die Wiese
Lebt von seinem Hauch.
Doch ihn hält kein Schattenthal,
Keine Blumen,
Die ihm seine Knie' umschlingen,
Ihm mit Liebes-Augen schmeicheln:
Nach der Ebne dringt sein Lauf,

Bäche schmiegen
Sich gesellig an. Nun tritt er
In die Ebne silberprangend,
Und die Ebne prangt mit ihm,
Und die Flüsse von der Ebne
Und die Bäche von den Bergen
Jauchzen ihm und rufen: Bruder!
Bruder, nimm die Brüder mit,
Mit zu deinem alten5 Vater,
Zu dem ewgen Ocean,
Der mit ausgespannten Armen
Unser wartet,
Die sich ach! vergebens öffnen,
Seine Sehnenden zu fassen;
Denn uns frißt in öder Wüste
Gier'ger Sand; die Sonne droben
Saugt an unserm Blut; ein Hügel
Hemmet uns zum Teiche! Bruder,
Nimm die Brüder von der Ebne,
Nimm die Brüder von den Bergen
Mit, zu deinem Vater mit!

Kommt ihr alle! -
Und nun schwillt er
Herrlicher; ein ganz Geschlechte
Trägt den Fürsten hoch empor!
Und im rollenden Triumphe
Gibt er Ländern Namen, Städte
Werden unter seinem Fuß.

Unaufhaltsam rauscht er weiter,
Läßt der Thürme Flammengipfel,
Marmorhäuser, eine Schöpfung
Seiner Fülle, hinter sich.

Cedernhäuser trägt der Atlas
Auf den Riesenschultern; sausend
Wehen über seinem Haupte
Tausend Flaggen durch die Lüfte,
Zeugen seiner Herrlichkeit.

Und so trägt er seine Brüder,
Seine Schätze, seine Kinder,
Dem erwartenden Erzeuger
Freudebrausend an das Herz.

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE

List of language codes

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 55-57; and with Goethe's Schriften, Achter Band, Leipzig, bey Georg Joachim Göschen, 1789, pages 183-186.

First published as a duet with the title Gesang and "E. O." as the author's name in Göttinger Musenalmanach auf das Jahr 1774, see below.

1 Schubert (in D. 549 only) inserts an anticipation of the next line: "Wie ein Sternenblick, freudehell"
2 Schubert (in D. 549 only) inserts here "nieder, jünglingfrisch"
3 Schubert's fragment of the second setting (D. 721) breaks off here.
4 relocated by Schubert to the next line:
Drunten in dem Thal
Unter seinem Fußtritt werden Blumen,
5 Schubert's fragment of the first setting (D. 549) breaks off here.

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)

Another version of this text exists in the database.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "La cançó de Mahoma", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Mohammeds gezang", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Song for Mohammed", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Chant de Mahomet", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2018-03-19 04:53:04

Line count: 68
Word count: 276

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     - Emily Ezust

Song for Mohammed

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Behold this rocky spring,
bright with joy
like a twinkling star;
above the clouds
its youth was nourished
by good spirits
among the cliffs in the bushes.

Fresh as a youth
it dances out of the cloud
down to the marble rocks,
cheering again
to the sky.

Along mountainous paths
it chases after colorful pebbles,
and with the step of a young leader
its companion-springs journey
with it onward.

Below in the valley
flowers appear from its footprints,
and the meadow
derives life from its breath.

But no shaded valley can stop it,
no flower,
clasping its knees
and imploring it with loving eyes:
toward the Plains it presses its course,
twisting like a snake.

Brooks nuzzle up
sociably. Now it treads
into the Plain, resplendent with silver,
and the Plain grows silver too,
and the rivers of the Plain
and the brooks of the mountains
cheer and shout: "Brother!
Brother, take your brothers with,
take them with you to your ancient father,
to the eternal ocean,
whose outstretched arms
await us,
who, ah! has opened them in vain
to embrace his yearning children;
for the bleak wasteland's
greedy sand devours us; the sun above
sucks up all our blood; a hill
clogs us into a pool! Brother, 
take your brothers from this Plain,
take your brothers from the mountains,
take them with you to your ancient father!

Come all of you! -
and now [the spring] swells
more grandly: an entire race
lifts the prince up high!
And in rolling triumph
it gives names to the lands and cities
that grow in its path.

Irresistibly it rushes onward,
leaving a wake of flaming-tipped towers
and houses of marble - creations
of its bounty.

Like Atlas it bears cedar houses
upon its giant's shoulders; 
over its head, the wind noisily
blows a thousand flags
as testimony of its glory.

And so it brings its brothers,
its treasures, its children,
effervescent with joy,
to the waiting parent's bosom.

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 © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive --

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

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Based on
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832), "Mahomets Gesang", written 1772-73, first published 1773 CAT DUT FRE
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): August Bergt, Ernst Paul Flügel, Robert Kahn, Lothar Kempter, Johann Karl Gottfried Loewe, Franz Peter Schubert. Go to the text.


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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:30

Line count: 68
Word count: 327