by (Karl) Theodor Körner (1791 - 1813)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Gebet während der Schlacht
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
    Vater, ich rufe dich!
Brüllend umwölkt mich der Dampf der Geschütze,
Sprühend umzucken mich rasselnde Blitze.
 Lenker der Schlachten, ich rufe dich!
    Vater du, führe mich!

    Vater du, führe mich!
Führ' mich zum [Sieg]1, führ' mich zum Tode:
[Herr]2, ich erkenne deine Gebote,
 Herr, wie du willst, so führe mich. 
    Gott, ich erkenne dich!

    Gott, ich erkenne dich!
So im herbstlichen Rauschen der Blätter
Als im Schlachtendonnerwetter
 Urquell der Gnade, erkenn' ich dich.
    Vater du, segne mich!

    Vater du, segne mich!
In deine Hand befehl' ich mein Leben,
Du kannst es nehmen, du hast es gegeben,
 Zum Leben, zum Sterben segne mich.
    Vater, ich preise dich!

    Vater, ich preise dich!
['S ist]3 ja kein Kampf für die Güter der Erde;
Das Heiligste schützen wir mit dem Schwerdte,
 Drum fallend und siegend preis' ich dich,
    Gott, dir ergeb' ich mich!

    Gott, dir ergeb' ich mich!
Wenn mich die Donner des Todes begrüßen,
Wenn meine Adern geöffnet fließen,
 Dir, mein Gott, [dir]4 ergeb' ich mich!
    Vater, [ich rufe dich]5!

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Leyer und Schwerdt von Theodor Körner Lieutenant im Lützow'schen Freikorps. Einzig rechtmäßige, von dem Vater des Dichters veranstaltete Ausgabe. Berlin, 1814. In der Nicolaischen Buchhandlung, pages 55-56; and with Theodor Körner's Gedichte. [Erster Theil.] Neueste Auflage. Wien 1815. Bey B. Ph. Bauer, pages 139-140.

1 Schubert (2nd version): "Siege"
2 Schubert (2nd version): "O Herr"
3 in many editions misprinted as "S'ist"
4 omitted by Schubert (1st version only)
5 Schubert (1st version): "du führe mich"


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) , "Pregrària durant la batalla", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Gebed tijdens de slag", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "Prayer during battle", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Prière pendant la bataille", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2018-09-24 03:25:17
Line count: 30
Word count: 168

Prayer during battle
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
    Father, I call Thee!
Roaring, the smoke of the artillery engulfs me like a cloud,
Spewing sparks, clashing lightning streaks about me.
 Arbiter of battles, I call Thee!
    Thou Father, lead me!
    Thou Father, lead me!
Lead me to victory, lead me to death:
[Lord]1, I acknowledge Thy laws!
 Lord, however Thou wilt, lead me thus.
    Lord, I acknowledge Thee!
    Lord, I acknowledge Thee!
As in the autumnal rustling of the leaves,
Thus in the thunderstorms of battle,
 Fountainhead of mercy, I acknowledge Thee!
    Thou Father, bless me!
    Thou Father, bless me!
Into Thy hand I commend my life,
Thou mayst take it, [for] Thou hast given it;
 [Whether I am] to live [or] to die, bless me!
    Father, I praise Thee!
    Father, I praise Thee!
For this is not a battle for earthly goods;
The most holy things we are protecting with our swords:
 Therefore, falling and triumphing, I praise Thee;
    God, I yield myself to Thee!
    God, I yield myself to Thee!
When the thunderbolts of death greet me,
When my arteries, opened, flow:
 To Thee, my God, I yield myself!
    Father, I call Thee!

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Schubert: "Oh Lord"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2015 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.

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Text added to the website: 2015-06-09 00:00:00
Last modified: 2015-06-09 21:45:31
Line count: 30
Word count: 188