by Friedrich von Schlegel (1772 - 1829)
Translation © by Laura Prichard

Vom Mitleiden Mariä
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Als bei dem Kreuz Maria stand,
Weh über Weh ihr Herz empfand,
Und Schmerzen über Schmerzen:
Das ganze Leiden Christi stand
Gedruckt in ihrem Herzen.

Sie ihren Sohn muß bleich und todt,
Und überall von Wunden roth,
Am Kreuze leiden sehen.
Gedenk, wie dieser bittre Tod
Zu Herzen ihr mußt' gehen!

In Christi Haupt durch Bein und Hirn,
Durch Augen, Ohren, durch die Stirn
Viel scharfe Dornen stachen;
Dem Sohn die Dornen Haupt und Hirn
Das Herz der Mutter brachen.

Confirmed with Poetisches Taschenbuch für das Jahr 1806 von Friedrich Schlegel. Berlin. Bei Johann Friedrich Unger. 1806, pages 200-201.

Note: Schlegel published in his Taschenbuch für das Jahr 1806 a selection of 23 adaptations of early German sacred folksongs, originating from Friedrich Spee (1591-1635) and others, with the title Trutznachtigall, which was also the title of a collection of 52 sacred poems by Spee, posthumously published in 1649. The current poem is not part of Spee's Trutznachtigall; it appeared as a poem with 8 stanzas in an earlier (anonymous) songbook attributed to Spee. Schlegel used stanzas 2 - 4 for his adaption.


Based on:

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) , "El dolor de Maria", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Over Maria's lijden", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Souffrance de Marie", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 15
Word count: 80

As Mary stood below the cross
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
As Mary stood below the cross,
Woe upon woe felt in her heart
And pain upon pain;
All of Christ’s suffering
Was printed on her heart.

She had to see her son pale and dead
And completely red from wounds
Suffer on the cross.
Consider, how this bitter death
Must have gone to her heart.

Around Christ’s head, into bone and brain,
Into eyes, ears and brow
Many sharp thorns pierced;
[Just] as [for] the Son, [ when the thorns] broke his body and mind,
The mother’s heart broke.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "Vom Mitleiden Mariä" = "On the compassion of Mary"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2015 by Laura Prichard, (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.

Based on:

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2015-12-29
Line count: 15
Word count: 89