by Rabindranath Tagore (1861 - 1941)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

My desires are many and my cry is...
Language: English  after the Bangla (Bengali) 
Available translation(s): FRE GER
My desires are many and my cry is pitiful,
but ever didst thou save me by hard refusals;
and this strong mercy has been wrought into my life 
through and through.

Day by day thou art making me worthy of the simple,
great gifts that thou gavest to me unasked;
this sky and the light, this [body and the life and the mind]1
saving me from perils of overmuch desire.

There are times when I languidly linger
and times when I awaken and hurry [in]2 search of my goal;
but cruelly thou hidest thyself from before me.

Day by day thou art making me worthy of thy full acceptance
by refusing me ever and anon,
saving me from perils of weak, uncertain desire.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Sohal: "body, this life and this mind"
2 Sohal: "to"


Based on

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Mes désirs sont nombreux et mon cri fait pitié", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2010-01-24
Line count: 14
Word count: 123

Viele Begierden treiben mich, mein Rufen...
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Viele Begierden treiben mich, mein Rufen wird zur Klage,
doch hart weist du sie ab und rettest mich so immerfort;
in meinem Leben waltet diese reiche Gnade
durch und durch.

Du machst mich Tag für Tag natürlicher, großart’ger Gaben würdig,
die ungefragt du mir geschenkt –
des Himmels, Lichts, und meines Leibs, des Lebens und des Geists -
und rettest mich dabei aus der Gefahr maßloser Gier.

Es gibt wohl Zeiten, die mich träge sehen,
und Zeiten des Erwachens und der eil’gen Suche nach dem Ziel;
doch schrecklich ist’s, wenn du dich meinem Blick entziehst.

Deiner Bejahung machest du mich würdig Tag für Tag,
indem du hin und wieder mich verneinst,
und rettest mich dabei aus der Gefahr lauen Begehrens.

About the headline (FAQ)


  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2014 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT)

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This text was added to the website: 2014-04-16
Line count: 14
Word count: 120