by Klaus Groth (1819 - 1899)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Ach fänd ich deine Spuren bloß
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Ach fänd ich deine Spuren bloß --
Wie wollt ich gehn, wie wollt ich spähn! --
Der Wald ist kahl und blätterlos,
Und du bist fort, bist nicht zu sehn.
Der Wald ist kahl und öd der Steig,
Und [mir ist trüb' und mir ist schwer.]1
Die Blätter modern in dem Teich,
Es grünt nicht mehr, es blüht nicht mehr.
Ach schallte mir dein leichter Gang
[Wie Vogelsang, wie Vogelschritt!]2
Mir brächt er Blumen und Gesang
[Und Frühling mit],2 den Frühling mit!
Mir brächt er, was so lieblich war,
Wie [Sonnenlicht]4, wie Mondenlicht,
Er brächte mir dein Augenpaar,
Dein Angesicht, dein Angesicht!

G. Jenner sets stanzas 2-4
L. Homberg sets stanzas 2-?

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Confirmed with Klaus Groth's Gesammelte Werke, Vierter Band (Plattdeutsche Erzählungen -- Hochdeutsche Gedichte), Kiel und Leipzig: Verlag con Lipsius & Tischer, 1893, page 242

Note: Hofmeister indicates "Der Wald ist kalt" as the incipit of Homberg's setting, as Challier does for Jenner's; but these appear to be typos. The Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin card catalogue shows "kahl" for Homberg's incipit, and the score of Jenner's setting shows "kahl" in the music as well.

1 Jenner: "meine Seele trüb' und schwer"
2 Jenner: "Noch durch den Wald, wie Vogeltritt"
3 Jenner: "Er brächte mir"
4 Jenner: "Sonnenduft"


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):

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2011-05-12
Line count: 16
Word count: 100

Ah, if I could only find a trace of you
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Ah, if I could only find a trace of you --
How would I walk, how would I keep a lookout! --
The woods are bare and leafless,
And you are gone, are not to be seen.
The forest is leafless and desolate the path,
And [I feel bleak and I feel weighed down.]1
The leaves are mouldering in the pond,
No green any longer, no blossoming any longer.
Ah, if I could only hear your light footfall
[Like the song, like the stepping of a bird]2
It would bring me flowers and singing
[And]3 springtime, springtime!
It would bring me that which was so lovely,
Like [sunlight]4, like moonlight,
It would bring me your eyes,
Your face, your face!

About the headline (FAQ)

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Translated titles:
"Dein Angesicht" = "Your face"
"Der Wald ist kahl" = "The woods are bare"
1 Jenner: "my soul is bleak and weighed down"
2 Jenner: "Still sounding through the forest like the stepping of a bird"
3 Jenner: "It would bring me"
4 Jenner: "Sun-scent"


  • 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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This text was added to the website: 2015-10-13
Line count: 16
Word count: 118