by Friedrich von Matthisson (1761 - 1831)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Lehnst du deine bleichgehärmte Wange
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Lehnst du deine bleichgehärmte Wange
Immer noch an diesen Aschenkrug?
Weinend um den Todten, den schon lange
Zu der Seraphim Triumphgesange
Der Vollendung Flügel trug?

Siehst du Gottes Sternenschrift dort flimmern,
Die der bangen Schwermuth Trost verheißt?
Heller wird der Glaube [nun dir]1 schimmern,
Daß hoch über seiner Hülle Trümmern
Walle des Geliebten Geist!

Wohl, o wohl dem liebenden Gefährten
Deiner Sehnsucht, er ist ewig dein!
Wiedersehn, im Lande der Verklärten,
Wirst du, Dulderin, den Langentbehrten,
Und wie er unsterblich seyn!

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View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von Friedrich von Matthisson. Erster Theil. Tübingen, bei Cotta, 1811, page 90, and with Friedrich von Matthisson, Gedichte, fifteenth edition, Zurich: Orell, Fuessli & Co., 1851, page 63.

First published in Musen-Almanach für 1786, herausgegeben von Voß und Goeking, Hamburg, bey Carl Ernst Bohn, pages 24-25, with the title "Die Unsterblichkeit", subtitle "An Elisa". This first edition has an additional (third) stanza which was left out in later editions.

1 Schubert: "dir nun"


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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Troost voor Elisa", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Comfort for Elisa", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Réconfort pour Élise", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Melanie Trumbull , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2017-05-04 02:33:36
Line count: 15
Word count: 81

Comfort for Elisa
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
 Are you still leaning your pale, haunted cheeks
 on this urn of ashes?
 Weeping for the deceased man whom long ago
 to the triumphant songs of seraphim
 the wings of fate carried away?
 Do you see glimmering in the stars there God's writing,
 which promises comfort for anxious distress?
 Brighter will your faith now gleam,
 that high above the remnant of its veil,
 the spirit of your beloved still wanders!
 Hail to the loving companion
 of your longing, for he is eternally yours!
 You will see, in the land of transfiguration -
 you will, suffering woman, see your long-withheld companion,
 and, like him, be immortal!


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive --

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

Based on


Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:40
Line count: 15
Word count: 106