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Gesang des Lebens

Language: German (Deutsch)

Gross ist das Leben und reich!
Ewige Götter schenkten es uns,
lächelnder Güte voll,
uns den Sterblichen, Freudegeschaffenen.

Aber arm ist des Menschen Herz!
Schnell verzagt, vergisst es der reifenden Früchte.
Immer wieder mit leeren Händen
sitzt der Bettler an staubiger Strasse,
drauf das Glück mit den tönenden Rädern
leuchtend [vorbeifuhr]1.

Translation(s): ENG FRE

List of language codes

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Meine Verse. Gesammtausgabe, Dritte Auflage, Berlin: S. Fischer Verlag, 1906, page 236.

1 Marx: "vorüber fuhr"

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)

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

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "The song of life", subtitle: "From Diogenes", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Le chant de la vie", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2007-06-08.
Last modified: 2017-02-21 19:43:32
Line count: 10
Word count: 51

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The song of life

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Great is life and rich!
The eternal gods gave it to us.
full of smiling benevolence,
[gave it] to us, the mortals, [to us] who were created for joy.
But poor is the heart of man!
Quickly becoming despondent, it forgets the ripening fruits.
Ever anew with empty hands
the beggar sits beside the dusty street,
whereon Happiness with resounding wheels
shiningly drove by.

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Subtitle: "From Diogenes"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2012 by Sharon Krebs, (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: 2012-07-23.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:05:00
Line count: 10
Word count: 64