by Ferdinand Freiligrath (1810 - 1876)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Leis' rudern hier
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE ITA
Leis' rudern hier, 
mein Gondolier! 
Die Flut vom Ruder sprühn so leise 
laß, daß sie uns nur 
vernimmt, zu der wir zieh'n!
O könnte, wie er schauen kann, 
der Himmel reden -- traun,
Er spräche vieles wohl von dem, 
was Nachts die Sterne schau'n!

Nun rasten hier, 
mein Gondolier! 
Ins Boot die Ruder! sacht!
[Auf]1 zum Balkone 
schwing' ich mich, 
doch du hältst unten Wacht,
O, wollten halb so eifrig 
nur dem Himmel wir uns weih'n,
Als schöner Weiber [Dienste]2 -- trau'n, 
wir könnten Engel sein!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Note: in Freiligrath's published form, this is a poem of two stanzas with four lines each.
1 Schumann: "Sacht auf"
2 Schumann: "Diensten"


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) (Marta Garcia Cadena) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Venetiaans lied I: Zacht roeien hier", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Chant vénitien I", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Amelia Maria Imbarrato) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2003-11-19
Line count: 19
Word count: 84

Row softly here
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Row softly here,
My gondolier!
Let the flood spray from the oar so quietly
That only she perceives us --
She, to whom we travel!
Oh if Heaven could speak
As it can see -- truly,
It would speak much of that
Which the stars see at night!
Now rest here,
My gondolier!
Take the oars into the boat! Gently!
[Up] 1 to the balcony
I swing myself,
But you keep watch down below,
Oh, if only half as assiduously
We would dedicate ourselves to Heaven,
As we do to the service of beautiful women -- truly,
We could be angels!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Translated titles:
"Venetianisches Gondellied" = "Venetian gondola-song"
"Gondellied" = "Gondola-song"
"Leis rudern hier, mein Gondolier" = "Row quietly here, my gondolier"
"Venetianisches Lied I" = "Venetian song I"
"Gondelfahrer" = "Gondolier"

1 Schumann: "Gently up"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2016 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: 2016-02-01
Line count: 19
Word count: 98