Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Gewiß, so liebt ein Freund den Freund
Wie ich dich liebe, Rätselleben--
Ob ich in Dir gejauchzt, geweint,
Ob du mir Glück, ob Schmerz gegeben.

Ich liebe Dich samt deinem Harme,
Und wenn du mich vernichten mußt,
Entreiße ich mich Deinem Arme,
Wie Freund sich reißt von Freundesbrust.

Mit ganzer Kraft umfaß ich Dich!
Laß Deine Flammen mich entzünden,
Laß noch in Glut des Kampfes mich
Dein Rätsel tiefer nur ergründen.

Jahrtausende zu sein! zu denken!
Schließ mich in beide Arme ein:
Hast Du kein Glück mehr mir zu schenken --
Wohlan -- noch hast Du Deine Pein.

Confirmed with: Lou Andreas-Salomé Lebensrückblick: Autobiographie, Hamburg: Severus Verlag, 2013, page 47.


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

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Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), [adaptation] ; composed by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "Life-Prayer", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2014-12-10
Line count: 16
Word count: 96

Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Truly, thus a friend loves a friend
As I love you, Enigma-Life --
Whether I rejoiced in you, wept,
Whether you brought me joy or pain.

I love you inclusive of your grief,
And when you must destroy me,
I shall tear myself from your arms,
Just as a friend [tears himself] from the bosom of a friend.

With all my strength I embrace you!
Let your flames ignite me,
Let me in the heat of battle still
Only more deeply plumb the depths of your mystery.

To exist for thousands of year! to think!
Clasp me in both your arms:
If you have no more joy to give me --
Very well -- you still have your pain.


  • 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: 2014-12-10
Line count: 16
Word count: 116