by Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856)
Translation © by Daniel Platt

Die Engel
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Freilich, ein ungläubger Thomas,
Glaub ich an den Himmel nicht,
Den die Kirchenlehre Romas
Und Jerusalems verspricht.

Doch die Existenz der Engel,
Die bezweifelte ich nie;
Lichtgeschöpfe sonder Mängel,
Hier auf Erden wandeln sie.

Nur, genädge Frau, die Flügel
Sprech ich jenen Wesen ab;
Engel gibt es ohne Flügel,
Wie ich selbst gesehen hab.

Lieblich mit den weißen Händen,
Lieblich mit dem schönen Blick
Schützen sie den Menschen, wenden
Von ihm ab das Mißgeschick.

Ihre Huld und ihre Gnaden
Trösten jeden, doch zumeist
Ihn, der doppelt qualbeladen,
Ihn, den man den Dichter heißt.


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):

  • ENG English [singable] (Daniel Platt) , title 1: "The angels", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-11-05
Line count: 20
Word count: 93

The angels
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Maybe I'm a doubting Thomas,
For I don't expect to see
Heaven, which both Jews' and Christians'
Teachings always promise me.

Yet the presence here of angels
Is one thing I'll never doubt:
That these shining, faultless beings
Here on earth do move about.

Only one thing, gracious lady,
I deny, and that's the wings;
There are many wingless angels,
I myself have seen these things.

Lovely hands, so white and gentle,
Lovely gazes, turned to me,
They give unto Man protection,
Shield him from adversity.

Angel grace and angel favor
Comfort all, especially
Him, who lives with double anguish,
Him, who chose the poet's way.


  • Singable translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2014 by Daniel Platt, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., please ask the copyright-holder(s) directly.

    Daniel Platt.  Contact: abelard2 (AT) aol (DOT) com

    If the copyright-holder(s) are unreachable for three business days, please write to:

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2014-10-16
Line count: 20
Word count: 106