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

Wann, in des Abends letztem Scheine
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE ITA
[Wann]1, in des Abends letztem [Scheine]2,
  Dir eine [lächelnde]3 Gestalt,
Am Rasensitz im Eichenhaine,
  Mit Wink und Gruß vorüberwallt:
Das ist des Freundes treuer Geist,
Der Freud' und Frieden dir verheißt.

[Wann]1 in des Mondes Dämmerlichte
  Sich deiner Liebe Traum verschönt,
Durch Cytisus und Weymutsfichte
  Melodisches Gesäusel tönt,
Und [Ahndung]4 dir den Busen hebt:
Das ist mein Geist der dich umschwebt.

Fühlst du, beim seligen Verlieren
  In des Vergangnen Zauberland,
Ein lindes, geistiges Berühren,
  Wie Zephyrs Kuß, an Lipp' und Hand,
Und wankt der Kerze flatternd Licht:
Das ist mein Geist, o zweifle nicht!

Hörst du, beim Silberglanz der Sterne,
  Leis' im verschwiegnen Kämmerlein,
Gleich Aeolsharfen aus der Ferne,
  Das Bundeswort: Auf ewig dein!
Dann schlummre sanft; es ist mein Geist,
Der Freud' und Frieden dir verheißt.

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View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von Friedrich Matthisson Dritte vermehrte Auflage. Zürich, 1794 bey Orell, Gessner, Füssli & Comp., pages 133-134; and with Gedichte von Friedrich von Matthisson. Erster Theil. Tübingen, bei Cotta, 1811, pages 274-275.

First published in Musen-Almanach für 1794, herausgegeben von Joh. Heinr. Voß, Hamburg, bey C.E.Bohn, pages 86-87.

1 Matthisson (1811 edition), and Giuliani, Nägeli, Pilz, Schubert: "Wenn".
2 Schubert (2nd version): "Hauche"
3 Zelter: "liebende"
4 Giuliani, Zelter: "Ahnung"


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 © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Lied uit de verte", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Song from far away", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Chant venant de loin", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Antonio Zencovich) , "Canto dalla lontananza", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Richard Morris , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 127

Song from far away
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
 When in the last glow of evening
 a smiling figure passes you
 at the grassy oak grove
 with a wave and greeting:
 it is the dear spirit of your friend,
 promising you joy and peace.
 When by the twilight light of the moon
 you embellish love's dream,
 through Cytisus and Weymouth pines
 a melodious rustling will resound,
 and anticipation will lift your breast:
 it is my spirit embracing you.
 If you feel, with blessed loss
 in this formerly magic land,
 a gentle, ghostly touch
 like the kiss of a zephyr on your lips and hand,
 and if the fluttering light of the candle sways,
 it is my spirit - do not doubt it!
 If you hear, in the silver light of the stars
 shining gently into the silent chamber,
 something like aeolian harps in the distance,
 my word of honor: it is eternally yours!
 Then sleep peacefully; for it is my spirit,
 promising you joy and peace.


  • 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 -- https://www.lieder.net/

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

Based on:


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 158