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Language: German (Deutsch)

Vor seiner Hütte ruhig im Schatten sitzt
Der Pflüger, dem Genügsamen raucht sein Herd.
Gastfreundlich tönt dem Wanderer im
Friedlichen Dorfe die Abendglocke.

Wohl kehren [jetzt]1 die Schiffer zum Hafen auch,
In fernen Städten fröhlich verrauscht des Markts
[Geschäftiger]2 Lärm; in stiller Laube
Glänzt das gesellige Mahl den Freunden.

Wohin denn ich? Es leben die Sterblichen
Von Lohn und Arbeit; wechselnd in Müh und Ruh
Ist alles freudig; warum schläft denn
Nimmer nur mir in der Brust der Stachel?

Am Abendhimmel blühet ein Frühling auf;
Unzählig blühen die Rosen, und ruhig scheint
Die goldene Welt; o dorthin nehmt mich,
Purpurne Wolken! und möge droben

In Licht und Luft zerrinnen mir Lieb und Leid'!
Doch, wie verscheucht von törichter Bitte, flieht
Der Zauber; dunkel wird's und einsam
[ Unter dem Himmel, wie immer, bin ich - ]3

Komm du nun, sanfter Schlummer! zu viel begehrt
Das Herz; doch endlich Jugend! verglühst du ja,
Du ruhelose, träumerische!
Friedlich und heiter ist dann das Alter.

Translation(s): ENG FRE FRE

List of language codes

G. Ligeti sets stanzas 4-6

View original text (without footnotes)
1 in some editions of Hölderlin: "izt"
2 Greif: "Geschäft'ger"
3 omitted by Ligeti.

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)

This text (or a part of it) is used in a work

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

  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , title 1: "Evening fantasy", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Fantaisie du soir", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Stéphane Goldet) (Pierre de Rosamel) , title 1: "Fantaisie pour le soir", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2015-12-26 20:33:07
Line count: 24
Word count: 162

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Evening fantasy

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

 Before his cottage, in the shade, 
 the contented ploughman sits, his hearth smoking.
 The welcoming evening bells greet a traveler
 into the peaceful village.
 Now the boatmen turn too toward the harbor,
 and in far-off towns the merry noise and bustle of the marketplace
 die down; in the quiet grove
 glitters a comradely meal for the friends.
 Where then shall I go? Do not mortals live
 by wages and work? alternating labor with rest
 makes everything well; why then will
 the sting of this thorn in my breast never sleep?
 Up in the evening sky a token of Spring blossoms;
 infinite roses blossom and the golden world seems
 at peace; o take me there,
 purple clouds! and up there
 into light and air may my love and grief melt away!
 But, as if my silly plea had scared it away,
 the magic flees; it grows dark. Alone
 beneath the sky I stand, as always.
 Come now, mild slumber! too much does the heart demand;
 but finally, youth will burn itself out,
 you restless, dreamy thing!
 and my old age will be peaceful and serene.

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  • 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 Friedrich Hölderlin (1770 - 1843), "Abendphantasie", appears in Gedichte 1784-1800 FRE FRE
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Olivier Greif, Josef Matthias Hauer, Paul Hindemith, György Ligeti, Hermann Reutter, Hans Uwe Strübing, Viktor Ullmann. Go to the text.


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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:33
Line count: 24
Word count: 185