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Schatzgräbers Begehr

Language: German (Deutsch)

In tiefster Erde ruht ein alt Gesetz,
Dem treibt mich's, rastlos immer nachzuspüren;
Und grabend kann ich Andres [nicht]1 vollführen,
Wohl spannt auch mir die Welt ihr goldnes Netz,

Wohl tönt auch mir der Klugheit seicht Geschwätz:
»Du wirst die Müh und Zeit umsonst verlieren.«
[Das soll mich nicht in meiner Arbeit irren,]2
Ich grabe glühend fort, so nun, wie stets.

Und soll mich nie des Findens Wonne laben,
[Soll]3 ich mein Grab mit dieser Hoffnung graben:
[Es löscht die Flammen doch, die marternd brennen.]4

Drum lasset Ruhe mir in meinem Streben!
Ein Grab mag man [doch]5 jedem gerne geben,
Wollt ihr es [mir denn nicht]6, ihr Lieben, gönnen?

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE

List of language codes

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von Franz von Schober. Stuttgart und Tübingen. J. G. Cotta'scher Verlag. 1842, page 161; and with Gedichte von Franz von Schober. Zweite, vermehrte Auflage. Leipzig Verlagsbuchhandlung von J. J. Weber. 1865, page 215.

Note: Schubert received all poems from Schober in handwritten form. A (possibly later) autograph of this sonnet is kept in the Vienna City Library.

1 Schubert (first print 1823 and first version): "nichts"
2 Schober (1865 edition): "Das hemme nicht mein emsiges Hantiren,"
3 Schober (manuscript, and 1865 edition), and Schubert: "Sollt'"
4 Schubert: "Ich steige gern hinab, gestillt ist dann mein Sehnen."
5 Schubert: "wohl"
6 Schober (manuscript), and Schubert: "denn nicht mir"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator] 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)

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "El desig del cercador de tresors", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "De wens van de schatgraver", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (T. P. (Peter) Perrin) , "Treasure-hunter's plea", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Désir du chercheur de trésor", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2018-08-05 10:35:06
Line count: 14
Word count: 109

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Treasure‑hunter's plea

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Deep in the earth there lies an ancient law
which I am driven restlessly to seek;
and while I delve I can do no other deed.
The world may spread its golden net to snare me,

and worldly wisdom's empty drivel sound:
"You waste your time and effort all for nothing" --
that will not deflect me from my task;
I dig away with fervor as before.

And if discovery's joy will not be mine,
if moved by hope I only dig my grave,
yet I descend by choice, my yearning stilling.

Leave me then in peace to my quest,
a grave to every man is gladly given,
would you then, friends, begrudge me one of mine?

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 © 2011 by T. P. (Peter) Perrin, (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


Text added to the website: 2011-01-11.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:12
Line count: 14
Word count: 116