by Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim (1719 - 1803)
Translation © by Guy Laffaille

Der Greis
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE SPA
Hin ist alle meine Kraft!
Alt und schwach bin ich;
Wenig nur erquicket mich
Scherz und Rebensaft!

Hin ist alle meine Zier!
Meiner Wangen Roth
Ist hinweggeflohn! Der Tod
Klopft an meine Thür!

Unerschreckt mach' ich ihm auf;
Himmel, habe Dank:
Ein harmonischer Gesang
War mein Lebenslauf!

Note (provided by Laura Prichard): Haydn had the first two lines of this text engraved on his calling cards. He found this text in a 1778 anthology (Lyrische Blumenlese, Leipzig, 1774-1778).


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 (J. Gompertz) , first published 1814
  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , "The old man", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Le vieillard", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Elena María Accinelli) , "El anciano", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2005-05-15
Line count: 12
Word count: 47

Le vieillard
Language: French (Français)  after the German (Deutsch) 
Toute ma force est partie !
Je suis vieux et faible ;
Peu de choses peuvent me rafraîchir,
Les plaisanteries et le jus de la vigne !

Toute ma force est partie !
Le rouge de mes joues
S'est envolé ! La mort
Frappe à ma porte !

Sans peur je la laisse entrer ;
Ciel, sois remercié :
Un chant harmonieux
Était le cours de ma vie !


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to French (Français) copyright © 2014 by Guy Laffaille, (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: 2014-01-30
Line count: 12
Word count: 69