by Emanuel von Geibel (1815 - 1884)
Translation © by Laura Prichard

Schmerzliche Wonnen und wonnige Schmerzen
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Schmerzliche Wonnen und wonnige Schmerzen,
Wasser im Auge und Feuer im Herzen,
Stolz auf den Lippen und Seufzer im Sinne,
Honig und Galle zugleich ist die Minne.

Oft, wenn ein Seelchen vom Leibe geschieden,
möcht' es Sankt Michael tragen in Frieden.
Aber der Dämon auch möcht es verschlingen;
Keiner will weichen, da geht es ans Ringen.

Seelchen, gequältes, in ängstlichem Wogen
fühlst du dich hier hin und dort hin gezogen,
aufwärts und abwärts. In solches Getriebe
stürzt zwischen Himmel und Höll' uns die Liebe.

Mütterchen, ach, und mit siebenzehn Jahren
hab ich dies Hangen und Bangen erfahren,
Hab's dann verschworen mit Tränen der Reue;
ach, und schon lieb' ich, schon lieb' ich auf's neue.

Note: this is an original poem and not a translation.


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , title 1: "Painful delight and delightful pain", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2003-11-20
Line count: 16
Word count: 114

Painful delight and delightful pain
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Painful delight and delightful pain,
Water in [my] eyes and fire in [my] heart,
Pride on [my] lips and sighs in [my] senses,
Just like honey and gall is love.

Often, when a soul departs its body,
Saint Michael would like to carry [it] to peace.
But the Devil would also like to devour it;
Neither wants to yield, on they fight.

Soul, tortured, in fearful heaving,
you feel drawn here and there,
upward and downward. In such a whirl
love plunges between heaven and hell.

Dear Mother, ah, already at seventeen years
I have felt this proclivity and fear.
So I’ve foresworn it with tears of repentance
ah, but already I’m in love again, already I love anew.


  • 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: 16
Word count: 119