by Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Oft ist das Leben lauter Licht
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Oft ist das Leben lauter Licht
Und funkelt freudefarben
Und lacht und fragt nach denen nicht,
Die litten, die verdarben.

Doch immer ist mein Herz bei denen,
Die Leid verhehlen
Und sich am Abend voller Sehnen
Zu weinen in die Kammer stehlen.

So viele Menschen weiß ich,
Die irren leidbeklommen,
All ihre Seelen heiß ich
Mir Brüder und willkommen.

Gebückt auf nasse Hände
Weiß ich sie abends weinen,
Sie sehen dunkle Wände
Und keine Lichter scheinen.

Doch tragen sie verborgen,
Verirrt, und wissen's nicht,
Durch Finsternis und Sorgen
Der Liebe süßes Licht.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Hermann Hesse, Sämtliche Werke, herausgegeben von Volker Michels, Band 10 Die Gedichte, bearbeitet von Peter Huber, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2002, pages 251-252.


Authorship

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 © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2009-05-06
Line count: 20
Word count: 92

Often life is pure light
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Often life is pure light
And sparkles full of colour
And laughs and does not ask after
Those who suffered, who were lost.

But always my heart is with those
Who conceal suffering
And in the evening, full of yearning,
Steal away to their chambers to weep.

I know so many people
Who stray about, oppressed by suffering;
I call all of their souls
My brethren and bid them welcome.

Bowed over wet hands
I know they weep every evening;
They see dark walls
And no lights shining.

But secretly they carry,
Having gone astray, and know it not,
Through darkness and anxieties
The sweet light of love.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"Oft ist das Leben lauter Licht" = "Often life is pure light"
"Oft ist das Leben" = "Often life is "


Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2019 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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Based on

 

This text was added to the website: 2019-05-01
Line count: 20
Word count: 108