Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Wie lang' nur willst Du klingen
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Wie lang' nur willst Du klingen,
    Du feines Zitherspiel?
Wonach doch mußt Du ringen,
    Hat Jedes ja sein Ziel.
Es klingt zu Lieb' dem Sänger,
    So lang' er singen will,
Und singt einst der nicht länger,
    Wird auch die Zither still.
Ist dann vorbei das Klingen,
    Fällt wohl dem Wandrer ein:
Man hört ja nicht mehr singen;
    Er muß gestorben sein.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Friedrich de La Motte-Fouqué, Alwin: ein Roman in zwei Bänden von Pellegrin, Zweiter Band, Berlin: bei Friedrich Braunes 1808, pages 222-223


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):

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "The solitary singer", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2016-02-25
Line count: 12
Word count: 61

The solitary singer
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
How long do you still wish to ring out,
    You fine playing of the zither?
For what are you struggling[?]
    Everything has its goal.
It rings out for love of the singer,
    As long as he wishes to sing,
And if he once shall no longer sing,
    The zither, too, shall fall silent.
When the ringing is then over,
    The [passing] wanderer shall think:
One no longer hears any singing;
    [The singer] must have died.


  • 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.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2016-02-25
Line count: 12
Word count: 75