by Friedrich von Matthisson (1761 - 1831)
Translation © by Laura Prichard

Die Sterbende
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Heil! dies ist die letzte Zähre,
Die der Müden Aug' entfällt!
Schon entschattet sich die Sphäre
Ihrer heimathlichen Welt.
Leicht, wie Frühlingsnebel schwinden,
Ist des Lebens Traum entflohn,
Paradiesesblumen winden
Seraphim zum Kranze schon!

Ha! mit deinem Staubgewimmel
Fleugst, o Erde, du dahin!
Näher glänzt der offne Himmel
Der befreiten Dulderin.
Neuer Tag ist aufgegangen!
Herrlich stralt sein Morgenlicht!
O des Landes, wo der bangen
Trennung Weh kein Herz mehr bricht!

Horch! im heilgen Hain der Palmen
Wo der Strom des Lebens fließt,
Tönt es in der Engel Psalmen:
Schwesterseele, sei gegrüßt!
Die empor mit Adlerschnelle
Zu des Lichtes Urquell stieg;
Tod! wo ist dein Stachel? Hölle!
Stolze Hölle! wo dein Sieg?

Confirmed with Gedichte von Friedrich von Matthisson. Erster Theil. Tübingen, bei Cotta, 1811, pages 44-45; and with Friedrich von Matthisson, Gedichte, Fifteenth edition, Zurich: Orell, Füßli & Comp., 1851, pp. 36-37.

Note (provided by Laura Prichard): This poem is about Elisa, the betrothed of the poet’s friend Rosenfeld. She was said to have died of a broken heart after her fiancé’s untimely death.


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

Set in a modified version by Friedrich Wilhelm Rust.

Another version of this text exists in the database.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "La dona morent", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Het stervende meisje", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , "The dying woman", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "La mourante", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 112

The dying woman
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Hail! this is the last tear,
That will fall from her weary eyes!
Already shadows fall on the spheres
Of her wordly home.
Gently, like spring mist melting away,
Is life’s dream flown,
The flowers of paradise are being woven by
Seraphim into a garland already!

Ha! [surrounded] by your swarm of dust
You fly there, o Earth!
Nearer gleams the wide open heaven
Of the freed sufferer.
A new day has dawned!
Gloriously1 shines the morning light!
Oh for that land, where the woe of fearful
Separation breaks no heart!

Hark! in the holy grove of palms
Where the stream of life flows,
Can be heard psalms of angels:
Sisterly soul, be welcome!
You have risen with eagle’s speed
To the light’s source;
Death! where is thy sting? Hell!
Proud Hell! where is [thy] victory?


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2016 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


This text was added to the website: 2016-02-08
Line count: 24
Word count: 136