by Eduard Mörike (1804 - 1875)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Der Feuerreiter
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT ENG FRE FRE ITA
Sehet ihr am Fensterlein
Dort die rote Mütze wieder?
Nicht geheuer muß es sein,
Denn er geht schon auf und nieder.
Und auf einmal welch Gewühle
Bei der Brücke nach dem Feld!
Horch! das Feuerglöcklein gellt:
Hinterm Berg,
Hinterm Berg
Brennt es in der Mühle!

Schaut, da sprengt er wütend schier
Durch das Tor, der Feuerreiter,
Auf dem rippendürren Tier,
Als auf einer Feuerleiter!
Querfeldein, durch Qualm und Schwüle,
Rennt er schon und ist am Ort!
Drüben schallt es fort und fort:
Hinterm Berg, 
Hinterm Berg,
Brennt es in der Mühle!

Der so oft den roten Hahn
Meilenweit von fern gerochen,
Mit des heil'gen Kreuzes Span
Freventlich die Glut besprochen -
Weh! dir grinst vom Dachgestühle
Dort der Feind im Höllenschein.
Gnade Gott der Seele dein!
Hinterm Berg, 
Hinterm Berg,
Rast er in der Mühle!

Keine Stunde hielt es an,
Bis die Mühle borst in Trümmer;
Doch den kecken Reitersmann
Sah man von der Stunde nimmer.
Volk und Wagen im Gewühle
Kehren heim von all dem Graus;
Auch das Glöcklein klinget aus:
Hinterm Berg, 
Hinterm Berg,
Brennt's! -

Nach der Zeit ein Müller fand
Ein Gerippe samt der Mützen
Aufrecht an der Kellerwand
Auf der beinern Mähre sitzen:
Feuerreiter, wie so kühle
Reitest du in deinem Grab!
Husch! da fällt's in Asche ab.
Ruhe wohl,
Ruhe wohl
Drunten in der Mühle!


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) , "El cavaller del foc", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "The Fire-Rider", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Le cavalier de feu", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Stéphane Goldet) (Pierre de Rosamel) , "Le cavalier du feu", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Amelia Maria Imbarrato) , "Il Cavaliere del fuoco", copyright © 2006, (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: 50
Word count: 221

The Fire‑Rider
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Do you see at the window
there again, that red cap?
Something must be the matter
for it is going up and down.
And what a sudden mob
is now by the bridge near the field!
Hark! the fire-bell is shrilling:
beyond the hill,
beyond the hill,
there's a fire in the mill!

Look, there he goes, galloping furiously
through the gate - it's the fire-rider
on his horse, a bony nag
like a fire-ladder!
Across the fields, through the smoke and heat
he plunges, and he's already reached his goal!
Over there the bells are pealing,
beyond the hill,
beyond the hill,
there's a fire in the mill!

You who so often smelled fire
from a mile off,
and with a fragment of the holy cross
maliciously conjured the blaze -
woe! from the rafters there grins
the Enemy of Man in hellish light.
May God have mercy on your soul!
Beyond the hill,
beyond the hill,
he is raging in the mill!

Not an hour had passed
before the mill was reduced to rubble;
but the bold rider
from that hour was never seen again.
People and wagons in crowds
turn toward home away from all the horror;
and the bell stops ringing:
beyond the hill,
beyond the hill,
it's burning!

Later a miller found
a skeleton together with the cap
upright against the wall of the cellar
sitting on the mare of bone:
Fire-rider, how coolly
you ride now to your grave!
Hush! there it falls to ashes.
Rest well,
rest well,
down there in the mill!


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive --

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

Based on:


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 50
Word count: 260