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

Wenn ich einst das Ziel errungen habe
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Wenn ich einst das Ziel errungen habe,
In den Lichtgefilden jener Welt,
Heil! der Thräne dann an meinem Grabe,
Die auf hingestreute Rosen fällt.

Sehnsuchtsvoll, mit [hoher]1 Ahnungswonne,
Ruhig, wie der mondbeglänzte Hain,
Lächelnd, wie beim Niedergang die Sonne,
Harr' ich, göttliche Vollendung, dein!

Eil', o eile mich empor zu flügeln,
Wo sich unter mir die Welten drehn,
Wo im Lebensquell sich Palmen spiegeln,
Wo die Liebenden sich wiedersehn!

Sklavenketten sind der Erde Leiden;
[Oefters, ach! zerreißt]2 sie nur der Tod!
Blumenkränzen gleichen ihre Freuden,
Die ein Westhauch zu entblättern droht!

F. Schubert sets stanzas 1-3

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von Friedrich von Matthisson. Erster Theil. Tübingen, bei Cotta, 1811, page 66; and with Gedichte von Friedrich Matthisson. Mannheim in der neuen Hof- und akademischen Buchhandlung. 1787, pages 12-13.

First published in Poetische Blumenlese auf das Jahr 1786. Göttingen, bey Joh. Christian Dieterich, page 218, with an additional stanza between stanzas 1 and 2; see below.

1 Schubert: "banger"
2 Matthisson (Mannheim 1787 edition): "Oft, ach, öfters bricht"


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

Another version of this text exists in the database.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Voleinding", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Accomplissement", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2017-07-31 08:47:45
Line count: 16
Word count: 91

When one day I reach the end I seek
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
When one day I reach the end [I seek],
In the light-filled world beyond,
Hail, to the tears that fall onto my grave
Covered with roses!

Full of yearning, with [great]1 anticipation,
Calm, as the moonlit grove,
Smiling, as at the seeting sun,
I wait for, divine fulfillment, for you!

Hurry, oh hurry to lift me aloft [on wings]
Where underneath me worlds turn,
Where in the source2 of Life palms are mirrored,
Where lovers see each other once again.

Chains of slavery are the suffering of the earth,
[Often, ah, most often they break]3 only in death!
Floral wreaths are like your joy,
A western wind threatens strip them!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Translation of title "Vollendung" = "Fulfillment"
1 Schubert: "fearful"
2 or "spring"
3 Lenz, Rust: “Now and then, ah! they break" (as appears in Matthisson's poem in Gedichte von Friedrich von Matthisson, Leipzig, Druck und Verlag von Philipp Reclam jun., [1870], pages 18-19.)


  • 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.

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Text added to the website: 2016-04-10 00:00:00
Last modified: 2016-04-10 21:13:38
Line count: 16
Word count: 110