by Berthold Viertel (1885 - 1953)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Wer traurig sein will, wird vielleicht...
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG ENG
Wer traurig sein will, wird vielleicht mich lesen,
Und er wird denken zwischen [meinen]1 Zeilen:
"Ja, traurig ist auch dieser Mensch gewesen.
[Kann]2 seine Traurigkeit die meine heilen?"
[Wir wollen uns um unsre]3 Gründe fragen
Der Traurigkeit, du Mensch der [späteren]4 Zeiten.
Die [meinen]5 wird dir die Geschichte sagen,
Die Jahresdaten meiner Traurigkeiten.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Bertold Viertel, Der Lebenslauf. Gedichte, New York: Aurora Verlag, 1946, page 42

1 Eisler: "den"
2 Eisler: "Aber kann"
3 Eisler: "Ich will dich nicht über die"
4 Eisler: "besseren"
5 Eisler: "meine"


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 (Dr. Anthony Krupp) , "Sadness", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Alberto Pedrotti , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 8
Word count: 53

He who wishes to be sorrowful might...
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
He who wishes to be sorrowful might perhaps read me,
And between [my]1 lines he shall think:
"Yes, this person, too, was sorrowful.
[Can]2 his sadness heal mine?"

[Let us query each other’s]3 reasons
For sadness, you human of [later]4 times.
Mine shall be told to you by history,
The dates of the years of my sorrows.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Translated titles:
"Wer traurig sein will" = "He who wishes to be sorrowful"
"Chanson allemande" = "German song"
"Traurigkeit" = "Sadness"

1 Eisler: "the"
2 Eisler: " But can"
3 Eisler: "I do not wish to ask you about your"
4 Eisler: "better"


  • 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: 2016-04-15
Line count: 8
Word count: 57