by Friedrich von Matthisson (1761 - 1831)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Sanft wehn, im Hauch der Abendluft
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Sanft wehn, im Hauch der Abendluft,
Die Frühlingshalm' auf deiner Gruft,
  Wo Sehnsuchtsthränen fallen.
Nie soll, bis uns der Tod befreit,
Die Wolke der Vergessenheit
  Dein holdes Bild umwallen.

Wohl dir, obgleich entknospet kaum,
Von Erdenlust und Sinnentraum,
  Von [Schmerz und Wahn]1 geschieden!
Du schläfst in Ruh'; wir wanken irr
Und [unstätbang']2 im Weltgewirr
  Und haben selten Frieden.

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Confirmed with Friedrich Matthisson's Gedichte, Dritte vermehrte Auflage, Zürich, 1794, bey Orell, Gessner, Füssli & Comp., page 128; with Gedichte von Friedrich von Matthisson. Erster Theil. Tübingen, bei Cotta, 1811, page 248; and with Musen-Almanach für 1794, herausgegeben von Joh. Heinr. Voß, Hamburg, bey C.E.Bohn, page 43.

1 Mendelssohn: "Schmerz, von Wahn"
2 Matthisson (Musenalmanach), and Schubert (Neue Gesamtausgabe): "unstät, bang'"


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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Grafkrans voor een kind", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Couronne mortuaire pour un enfant", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 58

Gently wave, in the breath of the...
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Gently wave, in the breath of the evening breeze,
The springtime blades of grass upon your grave,
 Where tears of longing fall.
Never, until death releases us,
Shall the cloud of oblivion
 Waft about your dear image!

It is well for you, although barely burst from your bud,
That from the pleasure of the earth and the dream of the senses,
 [From pain and delusion]1 you have departed!
You sleep in serenity, we totter madly,
Unsettled and anxiously about in the confusion of the world,
 And are seldom at peace.

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Translated titles:
"Todtenkranz für ein Kind" = "Death‑wreath for a child"
"Sanft weh'n im Hauch der Abendluft" = "Gently wave, in the breath of the evening breeze"

1 Mendelssohn: "From pain, from delusion"


  • 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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This text was added to the website: 2013-12-01
Line count: 12
Word count: 90