sometimes misattributed to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832) and by Karoline Christiane Louise Rudolphi (1754 - 1811)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Du Bächlein, silberhell und klar
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Du Bächlein, silberhell und klar,
Du eilst vorüber immerdar,
Am Ufer steh' ich, sinn' und sinn',
Wo kommst du her? Wo gehst du hin?

Ich komm' aus dunkler Felsen Schoß,
Mein Lauf geht über Blum' und Moos;
Auf meinem Spiegel schwebt so mild
Des blauen Himmels freundlich Bild.

Drum hab' ich frohen Kindersinn;
Es treibt mich fort, weiß nicht wohin.
Der mich gerufen aus dem Stein,
Der, denk ich, wird mein Führer sein.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with E. Quietmeyer, Quietmeyers Schul- und Hausfreund: Deutsches Lesebuch, Hannover, Helwing'sche Hofbuchhandlung, 1875, p. 202.


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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Le ruisselet", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 73

You brooklet, silver‑bright and clear
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
You brooklet, silver-bright and clear,
You hurry past forever;
I stand on the bank, ponder and ponder,
Whence do you come? Whither do you go?
I come from the womb of dark rocks,
My path leads over flowers and moss;
Upon my mirror-like surface there hovers
So gently the kindly image of the blue heavens.
Therefore I have a merry childlike spirit;
It drives me onward, I know not whither.
He who called me forth from the rock,
He, I think, shall be my guide.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translated titles:
"Das Bächlein" = "The brooklet"
"Am Bächlein" = "By the brooklet"


  • 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: 2016-06-28
Line count: 12
Word count: 85