by Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

In der Nacht
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
An dem Gedanken bin ich oft erwacht
Daß jetzt ein Schiff geht durch die kühle Nacht
Und Meere sucht und nach Gestaden fährt,
Nach denen heiße Sehnsucht mich verzehrt.
Daß jetzt an Orten, die kein Seemann kennt,
Ein rotes Nordlicht ungesehen brennt.

Daß jetzt ein schöner fremder Frauenarm
Sich liebesuchend preßt in Kissen weiß und warm.
Daß einer, der zum Freund mir war bestimmt,
Jetzt fern im Meer ein dunkles Ende nimmt.
Daß meine Mutter, die mich nimmer kennt,
Vielleicht im Schlaf jetzt meinen Namen nennt.

Confirmed with Hermann Hesse Sämtliche Werke, herausgegeben von Volker Michels, Band 10 Die Gedichte, bearbeitet von Peter Huber, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2002, pages 69-70.


Authorship

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) , "In the night", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Dans la nuit", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2014-02-06
Line count: 12
Word count: 86

In the night
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
I have often been awakened by the thought
That at this moment a ship passes through the cool night
And seeks seas and travels to shores,
[Places] for which fervent longing consumes me.
[The thought] that at this moment, in places that no seaman knows,
A red northern light burns unseen.

[The thought] that at this moment the lovely arm of a woman
Presses itself into pillows white and warm, seeking love.
[The thought] that one who was destined to be my friend
Is at this moment perishing darkly in the ocean.
[The thought] that my mother, who no longer knows me,
Is at this moment perhaps speaking my name in her sleep.

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2014 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

 

This text was added to the website: 2014-02-06
Line count: 12
Word count: 113