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by Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip...
Language: English 
Available translation(s): GER
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won;
[The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:]1
    But O heart! heart! heart!
      O the bleeding drops of red,
        Where on the deck my Captain lies,
          Fallen cold and dead.

[O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up--for you the flag is flung--for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths--for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
    Here Captain! dear father!
      This arm beneath your head;
        It is some dream that on the deck,
          You've fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
    Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
      But I, with mournful tread,
        Walk the deck my Captain lies,
          Fallen cold and dead.]1

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Neidlinger.


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

The text above (or a part of it) is used in the following settings:

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 between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 199

Ach Käpt’n! Mein Käpt’n! Vorbei die...
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Ach Käpt’n! Mein Käpt’n! Vorbei die Höllenreis’;
das Schiff hat jedem Sturm getrotzt, gewonnen ist der Preis;
der Port unweit, ich hör Geläut, des Volkes Jubelstimmen
ein jeder schaut das kühne Schiff und seinen Kiel, den grimmen.
    Doch, o Herz! Herz! Herz!
       Ach, das Blut, das tropfte rot
         dort, wo an Deck mein Käpt’n liegt,
            gefallen, kalt und tot.

Ach Käpt’n! Mein Käpt’n! Auf, hör’ den Glockenschall;
steh auf, dir gilt der Fahne Gruß, dir gilt der Hörner Hall,
der Blumen Duft, der Kränze Band, für dich drängt sich die Menge
dich rufen sie, dich gilt’s zu sehn aus wogendem Gedränge;
      Hier Käpt’n! Mein Vater!
          Mein Arm, darauf dein Kopf;
             Mir träumt, dass Du auf diesem Deck
                erlitten hast den Tod.
Kein Wort von meinem Käpt’n, die Lippen fahl und starr;
ich fühl’ des Vaters Puls nicht mehr, er spürt nicht meinen Arm;
im Hafen ankert nun das Schiff, sein Auftrag war nicht leicht;
durch Sturm und Riff, des Siegers Schiff hat heil sein Ziel erreicht;
        Ihr Ufer jauchzt, ihr Glocken hallt!
             ich geh in Schmerz und Not
               dorthin, wo mein Käpt’n liegt
                  gefallen, kalt und tot.

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) t-online.de

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Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2014-08-25
Line count: 24
Word count: 187