by Friedrich von Schiller (1759 - 1805)
Translation © by Laura Prichard

Der Pilgrim
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE ITA
Noch in meines Lebens Lenze
  War ich und ich wandert' aus,
Und der Jugend frohe Tänze
  Ließ ich des Vaters Haus.

All mein Erbtheil, meine Habe
  Warf ich fröhlich glaubend hin,
Und am leichten Pilgerstabe
  Zog ich fort mit Kindersinn.

Denn mich trieb ein mächtig Hoffen
  Und ein dunkles Glaubenswort,
Wandle, riefs, der Weg ist offen,
  Immer nach dem Aufgang fort.

Bis zu einer goldnen Pforten
  Du gelangst, da gehst du ein,
Denn das Irdische wird dorten
  [Himmlisch]1 unvergänglich seyn.

Abend wards und wurde Morgen,
  Nimmer, nimmer stand ich still,
Aber immer bliebs verborgen,
  Was ich suche, was ich will.

Berge lagen mir im Wege,
  Ströme hemmten meinen Fuß,
Über Schlünde baut ich Stege,
  Brücken durch den wilden Fluß.

Und zu eines Stroms Gestaden
  Kam ich, der nach Morgen floß,
Froh vertrauend seinem Faden
  [Werf]2 ich mich in seinen Schooß.

Hin zu einem großen Meere
  Trieb mich seiner Wellen Spiel,
Vor mir liegts in weiter Leere,
  Näher bin ich nicht dem Ziel.

Ach kein Steg will dahin führen,
  Ach der Himmel über mir
Will die Erde [nie]3 berühren,
  Und das dort ist niemals hier.

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von Friederich Schiller. Zweyter Theil. Leipzig, bey Siegfried Lebrecht Crusius. 1803, pages 306-308; and with Friedrich Schillers sämmtliche Werke. Zehnter Band. Enthält: Gedichte. Zweyter Theil. Wien, 1810. In Commission bey Anton Doll, pages 190-191.

1 Schubert (Neue Gesamtausgabe): "Ewig"
2 Schiller (1814 Cotta edition), and Schubert: "Warf"
3 Schubert (Neue Gesamtausgabe): "nicht"

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "El pelegrí ", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "De pelgrim", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , "The pilgrim", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Le pèlerin", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Amelia Maria Imbarrato) , "Il pellegrino", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Richard Morris , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2019-08-04 08:56:14
Line count: 36
Word count: 184

The pilgrim
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Early in the springtime of my life
I was, and I wandered abroad,
And youth’s happy dance
Was abandoned by me, in my father’s house.

All my inheritance, all my belongings
I cast away, happy in my beliefs,
And carrying a light pilgrim’s staff,
I set out with childlike innocence.

I was urged on by a powerful hope
And a dark expression of faith
“Go forth,” calling [me] away, “The road is open,
Leading toward the rising [sun]."

“Until a golden gate
You reach: step inside,
And then earthly things will
Become sublime, immortal.”

[And] there was evening, and [there] was morning,
Never, never did I pause,
But it always remained hidden,
What I sought, what I wanted.

Mountains stood in my way,
Currents hampered my steps,
Over abysses I built footbridges, and
Bridges across wild torrents.

And to the banks of a stream
I came, that flowed toward the morning [sun];
Happily trusting its course,
I throw myself into his lap1.

Onwards to a great ocean
I floated on the play of waves;
Before me lies a empty expanse,
I’m no nearer to my goal.

Ah, no bridge will lead me there,
Ah, heaven above me
Won’t touch the earth,
And There [will] never [be] here!

View original text (without footnotes)
1 literally, “lap” or “womb"; alternative: "into his arms"

Authorship

  • 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.
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Text added to the website: 2015-12-29 00:00:00
Last modified: 2016-08-16 18:06:21
Line count: 36
Word count: 207