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

In desperate hope
Language: English  after the Bangla (Bengali) 
Available translation(s): GER
In desperate hope I go and search for her 
in all the corners of my room; I find her not.

My house is small and what once has gone from it 
can never be regained.

But infinite is thy mansion, my lord, 
and seeking her I have to come to thy door.

I stand under the golden canopy of thine evening sky
and I lift my eager eyes to thy face.

I have come to the brink of eternity 
from which nothing can vanish --
no hope, no happiness, 
no vision of a face seen through tears.

Oh, dip my emptied life into that ocean, 
plunge it into the deepest fullness. 
Let me for once feel 
that lost sweet touch in the allness of the universe.


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:

  • Also set in Dutch (Nederlands), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ENG GER GER ; composed by Jan Pouwels.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Marie Luise Gothein (1863 - 1931) , first published 1914 ENG ; composed by Stefan Wolpe.

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: 2009-11-13
Line count: 16
Word count: 125

Verzweifelt hoffend gehe ich umher und...
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Verzweifelt hoffend gehe ich umher und such’ nach ihr
in allen Winkeln meines Heims - doch find sie nicht.

Mein Haus ist klein, und was einst ging,
kann niemals mehr sich finden ein.

Dein Wohnsitz, Herr, allein ist endlos groß.
Sie suchend, hab’ ich auch an deine Tür zu treten.

Ich stehe unter deines Abendhimmels goldnem Baldachin
und schau voll Ungeduld zu dir empor.

Bis an die Schwelle der Unendlichkeit bin ich getreten,
dahin, wo nichts entschwinden kann -
nicht Hoffnung, Glück,
auch nicht das Bild eines Gesichts, das ich durch Tränen sah.

Ach, tauch mein leer geword’nes Leben ein in dieses Meer,
senk es in seine tiefste Tiefe, seine ganze Fülle.
Und lasse mich ein einzig’ Mal im endlos weiten All
diese verlor’ne, zärtliche Berührung spüren. 

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.

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This text was added to the website: 2014-07-11
Line count: 16
Word count: 127