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The LiederNet Archive

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Der Schatzgräber

Language: German (Deutsch)

Arm am Beutel, krank [am]1 Herzen,
Schleppt' ich meine langen Tage.
Armuth ist die größte Plage,
Reichthum ist das höchste Gut!
Und, zu enden meine Schmerzen,
Ging ich einen Schatz zu graben.
Meine Seele sollst du haben!
Schrieb ich hin mit eignem Blut.
Und so zog' ich Kreis' um Kreise,
Stellte wunderbare Flammen,
Kraut und Knochenwerk zusammen:
Die Beschwörung war vollbracht.
Und auf die gelernte Weise
Grub ich nach dem alten Schatze
Auf dem angezeigten Platze:
Schwarz und stürmisch war die Nacht.
Und ich sah ein Licht von weiten,
Und es kam gleich einem Sterne
Hinten aus der fernsten Ferne,
Eben als es zwölfe schlug.
Und da galt kein Vorbereiten.
Heller ward's mit einemmale
Von dem Glanz der vollen Schale,
Die ein schöner Knabe trug.
Holde Augen sah ich blinken
Unter [dichtem]2 Blumenkranze;
In des Trankes [Himmelsglanze]3
Trat er in den Kreis herein.
Und er hieß mich freundlich trinken;
Und ich dacht': es kann der Knabe
Mit der schönen lichten Gabe
Wahrlich nicht der Böse sein.
Trinke Muth des reinen Lebens!
Dann verstehst du die Belehrung,
Kommst, mit ängstlicher Beschwörung,
Nicht zurück an diesen Ort.
Grabe hier nicht mehr vergebens.
Tages Arbeit! [Abends Gäste]4;
Saure Wochen! Frohe Feste!
Sey dein künftig Zauberwort.

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE FRE ITA

List of language codes

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Goethe's Werke, Vollständige Ausgabe letzter Hand, Erster Band, Stuttgart und Tübingen, in der J.G.Cotta'schen Buchhandlung, 1827, pages 198-199; and with Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1798. herausgegeben von Schiller. Tübingen, in der J.G.Cottaischen Buchhandlung, pages 46-48.

1 Schubert (Neue Gesamtausgabe): "im"
2 first edition (Musenalmanach): "einem"
3 first edition (Musenalmanach): "Himmelglanze"
4 first edition (Musenalmanach): "Abendgäste"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator] and Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor] 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)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "El cercador de tresors", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "De schatgraver", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "The treasure-seeker", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Gérard Labrunie) , "Le chercheur de trésors"
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Amelia Maria Imbarrato) , "Il cercatore di tesori", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2019-04-25 13:15:12

Line count: 40
Word count: 202

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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

The treasure‑seeker

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Poor in purse and sick at heart,
I dragged out my long days.
Poverty is the greatest plague,
wealth is the highest good!
And, to end my pain,
I went to dig for a treasure.
"My soul you shall have!"
I wrote in my own blood.

And so I drew circle upon circle,
set wonderful fires,
combined herbs and bones:
the spell was complete.
And in the prescribed way
I dug then for the old treasure
in the appointed place;
dark and stormy was the night.

And I saw a light from afar,
and it came like a star
from the furthest distance,
just as the hour of twelve struck.
And then with no warning,
it grew brighter in a split second, 
from the gleam of the full cup
held by a fair boy.

Gentle eyes I saw gazing out
from under a thick wreath of flowers;
in the heavenly glow of that libation,
he stepped into my circle.
And he bade me drink with friendliness;
and I thought: this boy,
with his fair, bright gift,
surely cannot be the Evil One!

"Drink the courage of pure life!
Then you will understand my message,
and never, with anxious conjuration,
return to this place.
Dig here no more in vain:
Daily work! Evening guests!
Hard weeks! Joyous feasts!
Let these then be your future magic words."

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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    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832), "Der Schatzgräber", written 1797, first published 1798 CAT DUT FRE FRE ITA
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Hanns Eisler, Lenhuk, Johann Karl Gottfried Loewe, Émile Louis Victor Mathieu, Johann Friedrich Reichardt, 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: 40
Word count: 225