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Dank im Alter

Language: German (Deutsch)

Sagt! wo sind sie hingekommen,
Die ich in der Jugend sah?
Hat der Tod sie all' genommen?
Wenige nur sind noch da!

Soll ich trauern, soll ich klagen?
Danken soll ich, daß solang
Mich die Erde hat getragen,
Während andre sie verschlang;

Daß ich vollauf hab' getrunken
Aus dem Kelche der Natur,
Ganz ihr an das Herz gesunken,
Während andre nippten nur!

Daß das Leben übergossen
Mich mit Wonne und mit Pein;
Denn, so ist's: wo Rosen sprossen,
Müssen auch die Dornen sein.

Translation(s): ENG

List of language codes

Confirmed with Kerners Werke, Zweiter Teil, Gedichte, ed. Raimund Pissin, Berlin, Leipzig, Wien, Stuttgart: Deutsches Verlagshaus Bong & Co., 1914, page 227.

Submitted by Sharon Krebs [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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , title 1: "Gratitude in old age", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2008-06-18.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:44
Line count: 16
Word count: 83

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Gratitude in old age

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Tell me!  Whither have they gone,
Those whom I saw in youth?
Has death taken all of them?
Only a few are still left!

Should I sorrow, should I lament?
I should give thanks that so long
The earth has carried me,
While it consumed others;

That I quaffed mightily
From Nature's goblet,
That I completely sank down upon her heart,
While others merely sipped!

That life has flooded me
With joy and with pain;
For thus it is: where roses spring forth,
There must also be thorns.

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 © 2013 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: 2013-10-14.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:05:21
Line count: 16
Word count: 88