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

I know not from what distant time
Language: English  after the Bangla (Bengali) 
Available translation(s): GER
I know not from what distant time 
thou art ever coming nearer to meet me. 
Thy sun and stars can never keep thee hidden 
from me for aye.

In many a morning and eve 
thy footsteps have been heard 
and thy messenger has come within my heart 
and called me in secret.

I know not only 
why today my life is all astir, 
and a feeling of tremulous joy 
is passing through my heart.

It is as if the time were come 
to wind up my work, 
and I feel in the air 
a faint smell of thy sweet presence.

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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)

    [ None yet in the database ]

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in Dutch (Nederlands), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ENG GER ITA ; composed by Daniel Ruyneman, Hans Schouwman.
  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ENG GER ITA ; composed by Domingo Santa Cruz Wilson.
  • Also set in Italian (Italiano), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ENG GER ; composed by Franco Alfano.

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

  • 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: 2010-11-03
Line count: 16
Word count: 100

Ich weiß nicht aus welch ferner Zeit
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Ich weiß nicht aus welch ferner Zeit
du immer näher kommst, bei mir zu sein.
Nicht deine Sonn’ noch deine Sterne können dich
vor mir für alle Zeit verbergen.

An manchem Morgen, manchem Abend
hör ich deinen Schritt;
dein Bote trat ins Herz mir ein
und rief mich still und leis´.

Ich weiß nicht, warum heute wohl
so ruhelos ich bin,
und Freude schauernd mir
durchs Herze zieht.

Mir ist, als wär’ es Zeit,
mein Tagwerk zu beenden:
im zarten Dufte bist du
lieblich mir gewahr.

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: 2014-06-11
Line count: 16
Word count: 86