Translation © by Laura Prichard

Die Täuschung
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Im Erlenbusch, im Tannenhayn,
Im Sonn- und Mond- und [Sternenschein]1
Umlächelt mich ein Bildniß.
Vor seinem Lächeln klärt sich schnell
Die Dämmerung in Himmelhell,
In Paradies die Wildniß.

Es säuselt in der Abendluft,
Es dämmert in dem Morgenduft,
Es tanzet auf der Aue,
Es flötet in der Wachtel Schlag,
Und spiegelt sich im klaren Bach,
Und badet sich im Thaue.

Es naht in holder Traulichkeit
Sich mir in tiefster Dunkelheit
So schüchtern und so leise.
Es lullt mich wohl in sanfte Ruh,
Und haucht im Schlaf mir Träume zu
Von wundersüsser Weise.

Ich öffn' ihm sehnend meinen Arm,
Und streb' es traut und liebewarm
An meine Brust zu drücken.
Ich hasch' und hasche leere Luft,
Und nichtig, wie ein Nebelduft,
Entwallt es meinen Blicken.

Wer bist du, holdes Luftgebild,
Das engelhold und engelmild
Mit Schmerz und Lust mich tränket?
Bist du ein Bote bessrer Welt,
Der mich aus diesem öden Feld
In seine Heimath winket?

O fleug voran! Ich folge dir.
Bey dir ist Seligkeit; nicht hier.
Sprich, wo ich dich erfasse,
Und ewig aller Pein entrückt,
Umstrickend dich, von dir umstrickt,
Dich nimmer, nimmer lasse.

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with L.T.Kosegarten's Poesieen, Neueste Auflage, Zweyter Band, Berlin 1803, pages 199-200. This is the source used by Schubert. Kosegarten's poem is slightly different in later editions (see below).

1 Schubert (Neue Gesamtausgabe): "Abendschein"


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) , "Il·lusió", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "De begoocheling", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , "Illusion", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Illusion", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Lau Kanen [Guest Editor] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2018-06-24 12:30:13
Line count: 36
Word count: 186

Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
In the alder bushes, in the pine grove,
In the sun- and moon- and star-light
An image smiles around me.
Before its smile,
The twilight quickly clears, [revealing a] bright heaven,
A paradise of wildness.

It whispers in the evening breeze,
It gleams in the fragrance of morning,
It dances in the meadow,
It pipes in the quail’s song,
And is reflected in the clear brook,
And bathes in the dew.

It draws near, in sweet intimacy,
To me in deepest darkness
So bashful and so quiet.
It lulls me into a state of gentle tranquility,
And breathes dreams in [my] sleep
In a wonderfully sweet way.

I open my arms to it yearningly,
And strive (cozily and with the warmth of love)
To press it to my breast.
I reach out, and catch [only] empty air,
And the unseen thing, like a swirl of mist,
Floats away from my sight.

Who are you, fair image made of air,
[Both] angelically fair and angelically mild,
Who fill me with pain and pleasure?
Are you a courier from a better world
Who beckons me out of this desolate field
To its homeland?

O fly on1 ahead! I’ll follow you.
To be with you would be bliss; [but] not here.
Speak, so I can catch you,
And carry away all pains,
Ensnaring you, and ensnared by you,
Never, never to leave you.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 “flueg” is a variant of the verb “fleuchen,” a poetic way of saying “fliegen” - to fly


  • 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


Text added to the website: 2016-06-26 00:00:00
Last modified: 2016-06-26 15:44:25
Line count: 36
Word count: 230