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

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Nacht. Finsternis. In müder Hand
Laß ich von Tages lautem Tun
Abwärts zur [ewigen]1 Nacht gewandt
Die Stirne ruhn.
Wie still! Wie ohne Laut die Weite!
Kaum rauscht im Weg ein welkes Blatt,
Der Wolken dunkle Reise hat
Nicht Mond, nicht Sterne zum Geleite.
Langsam entgleitet meiner Brust
Der arge Stachel, unbewußt
Streift alles, was sie tags umgab,
Die Seele ab.
Was Tröstliches und Liebes ihr bekannt,
Tritt aus des Traumes Wunderheimatland
Vertraut hervor und neigt sich über sie.
O Seelentrösterin, sei mir willkommen,
Du Ahnungsvolle, deren Melodie
So oft den Alp von meiner Brust genommen!
Auf deine Stimme laß mich wieder,
Traumtiefer Born geschmückter Lieder,
Auf deiner Silbersaiten Rauschen
Entrückt und traumverloren lauschen!

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Hermann Hesse, Sämtliche Werke, herausgegeben von Volker Michels, Band 10 Die Gedichte, bearbeitet von Peter Huber, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2002, pages 195-196.

1 Wetzel: "ew'gen"


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) , "Inspiration", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Inspiration", 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: 2014-09-04
Line count: 22
Word count: 114

Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Night.  Darkness.  In my weary hand,
After the day’s loud activity,
Turned down toward eternal night,
I let rest my brow.
How quiet!  How the broad expanse is without a sound!
Hardly even a withered leaf rustles on the path,
The dark journey of the clouds has
Neither moon nor stars as companions,
Slowly out of my breast glides
The evil thorn; unconsciously
My soul sloughs off
Everything that surrounded it during the day.
That which the soul recognizes as comforting and dear
Steps forth from the wondrous homeland of dreams,
Well known, and bends over the soul.
Oh comforter of my soul, be welcome,
You portentous one, whose melody
So often took the nightmare from my breast
Let me again listen to your voice,
Dream-deep wellspring of garlanded songs,
[Let me again] listen to the soughing of your silver strings,
Enraptured and lost in dreams!


  • 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: 2014-09-04
Line count: 22
Word count: 146