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

Der böse Tag
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Blätter gelb und rot sich drehen,
Windgebogne Bäume stehen,
Windverscheucht und müdgeritten
Ich mit meinem Gaul damitten.

Fern in alle welken Weiten
Will ich dich zuschanden reiten,
Wollen wir zusammen traben
Mann und Gaul in einen Graben.

Zitternd willst du stehenbleiben;
Doch ich muß dich weitertreiben,
Weiter in die welken Weiten,
Tod und Teufel uns zu seiten.

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 70.


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) , "The evil day", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Méchant jour", 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: 2014-04-30
Line count: 12
Word count: 57

The evil day
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Leaves, gold and red, turn [in the wind],
Trees bowed down by the wind stand,
Wind-chased and wearied by the ride
I and my horse in the midst of it.

Far in all the wilted distances
I wish to ride you ragged,
I wish that both of us, man and horse,
Tramped together into one ditch.

Tremblingly you wish to stand still;
But I must drive you onward,
Farther into the wilted distances,
Death and the devil at our side.


  • 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: 2014-04-30
Line count: 12
Word count: 80