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

Deine hellen Augen sind zugetan
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Deine hellen Augen sind zugetan,
Dir brach die Nacht schon ein,
Dir brach der neue Weltengang schon an.
     Doch du bist mein,
     Ob auch die Sonne mir noch Mittag lacht,
     Und ich bin dein
     Und folge dir wenn meine Zeit vollbracht,
     In deine Nacht.
     Und aus dem Schoß,
     Der dich und mich verschlang
     Wächst neu und groß
     In ewigem Lebensdrang
     Der alten Heimat Geist empor.
     Die Jugend wandelt licht in weiten Räumen
     Und hört der Ahnen Chor
     Als dunklen Quell im heilgen Berge träumen.

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 227.


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 a friend who fell on the battlefield", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2014-03-11
Line count: 16
Word count: 84

To a friend who fell on the battlefield
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Your bright eyes have been closed,
Night has already fallen for you,
A new world order has already dawned for you.
     Yet you are mine,
     Although for me the sun still shines with noonday brightness,
     And I am yours
     And shall follow you when my time is done,
     Into your night.
     And from the womb
     That swallowed you and me
     Springs forth new and large
     In eternal compulsion for life
     The spirit of the old homeland.
     Youth wanders brightly in wide expanses
     And hears the choir of the ancestors
     Dreaming as a dark water-spring in the sacred mountain.


  • 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: 2014-03-11
Line count: 16
Word count: 98