by Johann Baptist Mayrhofer (1787 - 1836)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Zum Donaustrom, zur Kaiserstadt
Geh' ich in Bangigkeit:
Denn was das Leben Schönes hat,
[Entschwindet]1 weit und weit.

Die Berge [weichen]2 allgemach,
Mit ihnen [Thal]3 und Fluß;
Der Kühe Glocken läuten nach,
Und Hütten nicken Gruß.

Was starrt dein Auge thränenfeucht
Hinaus in blaue Fern'?
Ach, dorten weilt ich, unerreicht,
Frey unter Freyen gern!

Wo Liebe noch und Treue gilt,
Da öffnet sich das Herz;
Die Frucht an ihren Strahlen schwillt,
Und strebet Himmelwärts.

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von Johann Mayrhofer. Wien. Bey Friedrich Volke. 1824, page 24.

1 Schubert: "Entweichet"
2 Schubert: "schwinden"
3 Schubert: "Wald"


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) , "Camí de tornada", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Terugweg", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "The way back", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Le chemin de retour", copyright © 2012, (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: 16
Word count: 74

The way back
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
 To the Danube, to the imperial town
 I go in dread,
 for what beauty life has
 is leaving far and wide.
 The mountains disappear gradually,
 with them, valley and stream;
 the cow-bells peal out after me,
 and the cottages nod farewell.
 Why do your eyes, damp with tears,
 gaze out in the blue distance?
 Ah, there I spent my time, out of reach,
 gladly free among the free!
 Where love and fidelity prevail,
 the heart opens itself up;
 fruit swells beneath their rays,
 and strains heavenward.


  • 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


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 87