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The LiederNet Archive
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Am See

Language: German (Deutsch)

Sitz' ich im Gras am glatten See,
Beschleicht die Seele [süßes]1 Weh,
[Wie Aeolsharfen klingt]2 mich an
[Ein unnennbarer Zauberwahn]3.

Das Schilfrohr neiget seufzend sich,
Die Uferblumen grüßen mich,
Der Vogel klagt, die Lüfte wehn,
Vor [Schmerzeslust]4 möcht' ich vergehn!

Wie mir das Leben kräftig quillt
Und sich in raschen Strömen spielt.
Wie's bald in trüben Massen gährt,
Und bald zum Spiegel sich verklärt.

Bewußtseyn meiner tiefsten Kraft,
Ein Wonnemeer in mir erschafft.
Ich stürze kühn in seine Fluth
Und ringe um das höchste Gut!

O Leben bist so himmlisch schön,
In deinen Tiefen, in deinen Höhn.
Dein freundlich Licht soll ich nicht sehn,
Den finstern Pfad des Orkus gehn?

Doch bist du mir das Höchste nicht: 
Drum opfr' ich freudig dich der Pflicht.
Ein Strahlenbild schwebt mir voran,
Und mutig wag' ich's Leben dran!

Das Strahlenbild ist oft betränt,
Wenn es durch meinen Busen brennt,
Die Tränen weg vom Wangenrot,
Und dann in tausendfachen Tod.

Du warst so menschlich, warst so hold, 
O großer deutscher Leopold!
Die Menschheit [füllte]5 dich so ganz
Und reichte dir den Opferkranz.

Und hehr geschmückt sprangst du hinab,
Für Menschen in das Wellengrab.
Vor dir erbleicht, o Fürstensohn,
Thermopylae und Marathon!

Das Schilfrohr neiget seufzend sich,
Die Uferblumen grüßen mich,
Der Vogel klagt, die Lüfte wehn,
Vor Schmerzeslust möcht' ich vergehn!

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE

List of language codes

View original text (without footnotes)

This is the initial version of Mayrhofer's poem, given to Schubert in manuscript form by Josef von Spaun in 1814. The poem was printed ten years later in an adapted version by Mayrhofer; see below.

Note: When this song was published for the first time, by Friedlaender in 1885, only a part of Schubert's manuscript was at hand. So Friedlaender decided to publish only the first two stanzas (with textual modifications) and add a repetition with two more stanzas, provided by Max Kalbeck. These additional stanzas can be found here.

Note: The Leopold mentioned in the text was Herzog Leopold von Braunschweig (a newphew of Frederick the Great), who was drowned on April 27, 1785, in an attempt to save citizens during a flood on the river Oder.

1 Schubert (Friedlaender edition): "banges"
2 Schubert (Friedlaender edition): "Mit Geisterarmen rührt"
3 Schubert (Friedlaender edition): "Geheimnisvoller Zauberbann"
4 Schubert (Friedlaender edition): "Schmerzenslust"
5 Schubert (Alte Gesamtausgabe): "fühlte"

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)

Another version of this text exists in the database.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "A la vora del llac", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Aan het meer", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "By the lake", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Près du lac", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2013-03-18.
Last modified: 2018-02-07 10:57:28
Line count: 40
Word count: 217

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Près du lac

Language: French (Français) after the German (Deutsch)

Si je m'assois près du lac lisse,
Une douleur inquiète s'approche de mon âme,
Comme une harpe éolienne tinte en moi
Une illusion magique ineffable.

Le jonc s'incline en soupirant,
Les fleurs sur la rive me saluent,
L'oiseau se plaint, la brise souffle,
Je voudrais mourir de cette douleur agréable !

Comme la vie coule avec force en moi,
Et joue dans le flot rapide,
Tantôt fermentant en masses sombres
Tantôt brillant comme un miroir.

la conscience de mes pouvoirs les plus profonds
Crée en moi un lac de bonheur.
Je me jette hardiment dans le flot
Et je lutte pour le bien le plus élevé.

Ô vie, tu es si divinement belle,
Dans tes profondeurs, dans tes hauteurs !
Ne verrais-je pas ta lumière amicale
Si je suivais le chemin sombre d'Orcus ?

Mais tu n'es pas le sommet pour moi :
Je te sacrifierais volontiers pour le devoir ;
Une image rayonnante flotte devant moi,
Et courageusement je voudrais risquer ma vie !

L'image rayonnante est souvent humide de larmes,
Quand elle brûle à travers mon cœur
Les larmes de mes joues rouges
Comme si je mourais un millier de fois.

Tu serais si humain, si charmant,
Ô grand Allemand, Léopold,
Ton humanité te remplirait tellement
Et te donnerait la couronne du sacrifice.

Et majestueusement décoré, tu sauterais
Pour les hommes dans la tombe des vagues.
Devant toi, ô fils de prince, palissent
Thermopyles et Marathon.

Le jonc s'incline en soupirant,
Les fleurs sur la rive me saluent,
L'oiseau se plaint, la brise souffle,
Je voudrais mourir de cette douleur agréable !

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 French (Français) copyright © 2011 by Guy Laffaille, (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: 2011-09-09.
Last modified: 2017-08-16 17:04:35
Line count: 40
Word count: 264