by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Der Misanthrop
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
 Erst sitzt er eine Weile, 
 Die Stirn von Wolken frei;
 Auf einmal [kömmt]1 in Eile
 Sein ganz Gesicht der Eule
 Verzerrtem Ernste bei.

 [Sie fragen]2 was das sei,
 Lieb' oder Langeweile?

 Ach! sie sind's alle Zwei!

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Zelter: "kommt"
2 Zelter: "Ihr fraget"


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 misanthrope", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 11
Word count: 39

The misanthrope
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
 First he sits for a while,
 His forehead unclouded;
 Suddenly in great haste
 His whole face assumes
 The ghastly seriousness of an owl.

 You ask what that might be,
 Love or boredom?

 Ah! it is both of them!


  • 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.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2013-10-31
Line count: 11
Word count: 41