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Die Sterne

Language: German (Deutsch)

Wie wohl ist mir im Dunkeln!
Wie weht die laue Nacht!
Die Sterne Gottes funkeln
In feyerlicher Pracht!
Komm, [Ida]1, komm ins Freye,
Und laß in jene Bläue
Und laß zu jenen Höhn
Uns staunend aufwärts sehn.

Sieh, wie die Leyer schimmert!
Sieh, wie der Adler glüht!
Sieh, wie die Krone flimmert,
Und Gemma Funken sprüht!
Die hellen Wächter winken,
Die goldnen Wagen blinken,
Und stolz durchschwimmt der Schwan
Den blauen Ocean.

O Sterne Gottes, Zeugen
Und Boten beßrer Welt,
Ihr heißt den Aufruhr schweigen,
Der [unsern]2 Busen schwellt.
Ich seh' hinauf, ihr Hehren,
Zu euren lichten Sphären,
Und [Ahnung beßrer]3 Lust
Stillt die empörte Brust.

O Ida, wenn die Schwermuth
Dein sanftes Auge hüllt,
Wenn dir die Welt mit Wermuth
Den Lebensbecher füllt;
So geh hinaus im Dunkeln,
Und sieh die Sterne funkeln,
Und leiser wird dein Schmerz,
Und freyer schlägt dein Herz.

[Und wenn im öden Staube
Der irre Geist erkrankt;
Wenn tief in dir der Glaube
An Gott und Zukunft schwankt;]4
Schau auf zu jenen Fernen
Zu jenen ew'gen Sternen!
Schau auf und glaub an Gott,
Und segne Grab und Tod.

O Ida, wenn die Strenge
Des Schicksals einst uns trennt,
Und wenn das Weltgedränge
Nicht Blick noch Kuß [uns gönnt]5;
So schau hinauf ins Freye,
In jene weite Bläue!
In jenen lichten Höhn,
Dort, dort ist Wiedersehn!

Und wenn ich einst, o Theure,
Von allem Kampf und Krieg
Im stillen Grabe feyre,
So schau empor und sprich:
»In jenen hohen Fernen,
Auf jenen goldnen Sternen,
Dort, wo's am hellsten blitzt,
Wallt mein Verlorner itzt.« 

O Sterne Gottes, Boten
Und Bürger beßrer Welt,
Die ihr die Nacht der Todten
Zu milder Dämmrung hellt!
Umschimmert sanft die Stätte,
Wo ich aus stillem Bette
Und süßem Schlaf erwach
Zu Edens schönerm Tag!

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE

List of language codes

J. Zumsteeg sets stanzas 1, 3-8

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with L.T.Kosegarten's Poesieen, Neueste Auflage, Zweyter Band, Berlin 1803, pages 6-9; and with Ludwig Theoboul Kosergarten's Poesieen. Zweiter Band. Leipzig bei Heinrich Gräff. 1798, pages 301-304. Kosegarten's poem is slightly different in later editions (see below).

First published (only stanzas 1-4 and 6) in Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1796. Herausgegeben von Schiller. Neustrelitz, bei dem Hofbuchhändler Michaelis, pages 174-176.

1 Harder, Zumsteeg: "Mädchen"
2 Schiller's Musenalmanach, and Harder: "meinen"
3 Schiller's Musenalmanach: "Ahndung ewger"; Harder: "Ahnung ew'ger"
4 omitted by Harder.
5 Schiller's Musenalmanach, and Harder: "vergönnt"

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) , "Les estrelles", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "De sterren", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "The stars", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Les étoiles", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2017-06-26 21:38:46
Line count: 64
Word count: 293

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The stars

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

How good it is for me here in the darkness.
How the warm night wafts.
The stars of God glow
In a festive display.
Come, Ida, come into the open
And let us look up into this blue
And let us look up into these heights
And be amazed as we look up!

Look, the 'lyre' is gleaming
Look, the 'eagle' is glowing!
Look, the 'Corona Borealis' is shimmering
And 'Alpha Coronae Borealis' is sparkling!
The bright 'watchmen' are waving,
The gold 'carriages' are gleaming,
And the 'swan' is proudly swimming across
The blue ocean.

O, stars of God, witnesses
And ambassadors of a better world!
You quieten the turmoil
That fills my heart.
I look up, you noble ones,
To your light spheres,
And a sense of eternal bliss
Calms my rebellious breast.

O Ida, if melancholy
Shrouds your soft eyes,
If the world uses wormwood
To fill your cup of life,
Then go out into the darkness
And look at the stars sparkling,
And your pain will be easier
And your heart will beat more freely.

And if in barren dust
Your confused spirit falls sick,
If, deep within, your faith
In God and the future wavers,
Look up into that distance
To those eternal stars!
Look up and believe in God,
And bless the grave and death.

O Ida, if the harshness
Of fate ever divides us,
And if the pressure of the world
Offers us no chance to see or kiss each other,
Then look up into space,
Into the broad expanse of blue,
Into those light heights,
There! We shall see each other again there!

And when, dear, 
I am protected from all wars and battles
By the still grave,
Then look upwards and say, 
"In those high distances,
On those golden stars,
There, where they glow brightest
Is where he I have lost is now a pilgrim."

O stars of God, ambassadors
And citizens of a better world,
You who brighten the night of the dead
And bring the light of a more gentle dawn,
Softly shine around the place
Where I awake from a quiet bed
And a sweet sleep
Into Eden's more beautiful day!

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  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2011 by Malcolm Wren, (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
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Ludwig Gotthard Theobul Kosegarten (1758 - 1818), "Die Sterne" CAT DUT FRE
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): J. C. Baldewein, Ludwig Berger, August Harder, Andreas Jakob Romberg, Franz Peter Schubert, Johann Xaver Sterkel, Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2011-10-30.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:40
Line count: 64
Word count: 362