by Alfred Kerr (1867 - 1948)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Unser Feind ist, grosser Gott
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Unser Feind ist, grosser Gott,
Wie der Brite so der Schott.
Manchen hat er unentwegt
Auf das Streckbett hingelegt.
Täglich wird er kecker.
O du Strecker!

About the headline (FAQ)


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Notre ennemi est, grand Dieu", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , no title, copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Matthias Fletzberger

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 6
Word count: 26

Our enemy is, great God
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Our enemy is, great God,
Like the Brit, so also the [Scot.]1
Many a person he has incessantly
Subjected to the torture of the rack.
Every day he becomes more audacious
Oh you ‘stretcher!’2

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1Although translated as “Scot” here, “Schott” refers to the music publishing house Schott.
2 According to Michael Shane Hurst (Interpreting Richard Strauss’s Der Krämerspiegel from the Perspectives of the Performers and the Audience, DMA dissertation, University of North Texas, 2007, page 116), the word “Strecker” refers to Ludwig Strecker, who headed the Schott publishing house. The torture rack imagery in this poem stems from that name.


  • 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: 2014-09-13
Line count: 6
Word count: 34