Translation © by Iain Sneddon

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Ich seh von des Schiffes Rande
Tief in die Flut hinein:
Gebirge und grüne Lande
Und Trümmer im falben Schein
Und zackige Türme im Grunde,
Wie ich's oft im Traum mir gedacht,
Wie dämmert alles da unten
Als wie eine prächtige Nacht.

Seekönig auf seiner Warte
Sitzt in der Dämmrung tief,
Als ob er mit langem Barte
Über seiner Harfe schlief;
Da kommen und gehen die Schiffe
Darüber, er merkt es kaum,
Von seinem Korallenriffe
grüßt er sie wie im Traum.


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 (Iain Sneddon) , "Becalmed", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Calme plat", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2004-04-02
Line count: 16
Word count: 81

Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
I gaze from the prow of the ship
Into the depths below:
Mountains and green countryside
And ruins in the gloomy light
And jagged towers in the sea bed,
As I have often dreamt,
How like the early dawn everything gleams below
Like such a magnificent night.

The king of the sea on his watchtower
Sitting in the twilit deep
As if he, with long beard, had
Fallen asleep over his harp;
The ships come and go
Above, he barely notices,
From his coral reefs
He welcomes them as if in a dream.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2019 by Iain Sneddon, (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: 2019-12-07
Line count: 16
Word count: 93