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

Du hohe Kunst, der ich geglaubt
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Du hohe Kunst, der ich geglaubt
So manches lange herbe Jahr,
Leg' in den Schoß mein schweres Haupt
Und glätte mir das graue Haar.

Leg' ab die Maske, ich bin da,
Der Geiger, der dich lange kennt
Und alle Heimlichkeiten sah,
Und dennoch in die Flamme rennt.

Gib mir ein Lied so laut und wild,
So lachend, bitter und gemein
Wie mir's aus allen Träumen quillt,
So sollst du meine Liebste sein.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Hermann Hesse Sämtliche Werke, herausgegeben von Volker Michels, Band 10 Die Gedichte, bearbeitet von Peter Huber, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2002, page 50.


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) , "To the art [of music]", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2014-02-17
Line count: 12
Word count: 72

To the art [of music]
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
You high art, in which I believed
Many a long, bitter year,
Place my heavy head on your lap
And smooth my grey hair.

Take off the mask, I am here,
The violinist who has known you long
And who saw all the secrets,
And nevertheless runs into the flames.

Give me a song so loud and wild,
So laughing, bitter and mean
As it gushes forth from all my dreams,
Then you shall be my most dearly beloved.


  • 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.

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2014-02-17
Line count: 12
Word count: 79