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Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Die Erscheinung
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Ich lag auf grünen Matten,
An klarer Quellen Rand.
Mir kühlten Erlenschatten
Der Wangen heissen Brand.
Ich dachte dieß und jenes,
Und träumte [sanftbetrübt]1
Viel [Süsses mir und]2 Schönes,  
[Das]3 diese Welt nicht giebt.

Und sieh dem Hayn entschwebte
Ein Mägdlein sonnenklar.
Ein weisser Schleyer webte
Um ihr nußbraunes Haar.
Ihr Auge feucht und schimmernd
Umfloß ätherisch Blau.
Die [Wimpern nässte]4 flimmernd
Der Wehmuth Perlenthau.

Ein [traurend]5 Lächeln schwebte
Um ihren süssen Mund.
Sie schauerte, sie bebte.
Ihr Auge [thränenwund]6,
Ihr Hinschaun liebesehnend,
[So]7 wähnt' ich, suchte mich.
Wer war wie ich so wähnend,
So selig wer, wie ich!

Ich auf sie zu umfassen -
Und ach! sie trat zurück.
Ich sah sie schnell erblassen,
Und trüber ward ihr Blick.
Sie sah mich an so innig,
Sie wies mit ihrer Hand,
[Erhaben]8 und tiefsinnig
Gen Himmel, und verschwand.

Fahr wohl, fahr wohl, Erscheinung!
Fahr wohl, dich kenn' ich wohl!
Und deines Winkes Meinung
Versteh' ich, wie ich soll! -
Wohl für die Zeit geschieden
[Eint]9 uns ein schön'res Band.
Hoch [droben]10, nicht hienieden,
Hat Lieb' ihr Vaterland.

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with L.T.Kosegarten's Poesieen, Neueste Auflage, Zweyter Band, Berlin 1803, pages 196-198; and with Kosegarten's Dichtungen. Siebenter Band. Lyrischer Gedichte Siebentes, achtes, neuntes Buch. Greifswald, gedruckt beym Königl. Directeur J.H. Eckhardt. 1813, pages 20-22.

1 Schubert: "sanft betrübt"
2 Schubert: "Gutes und viel"
3 Kosegarten (1813 edition): "Was"
4 Schubert (Neue Gesamtausgabe - NGA): "Wimper faßte"; Kosegarten (1813 edition): "Wimper näßte"
5 Schubert (NGA): "traurig"
6 Schubert (NGA): "tränend wund"
7 Schubert (NGA): "Sie,"
8 Schubert (NGA): "Bedeutend"
9 Schubert (NGA): "Knüpft"
10 Schubert (NGA): "oben"


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

Set in a modified version by Sophia Maria Westenholz, née Fritscher, Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "L'aparició", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Herinnering - De verschijning", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "L'apparition -- Souvenir", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 40
Word count: 177

I lay on green meadows
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
I lay on green meadows
By the edge of a clear spring;
The shades of alder trees cooled
The hot burning on my cheeks.
I thought about this and that,
And I dreamt with gentle sorrow
Of many things that are sweet and beautiful to me
That are not given in this world.

And lo and behold, floating out of the grove came
A girl, as clear as the sun.
A white veil was woven
Around her nut-brown hair.
Her eyes were moist and glowing,
An ethereal blue flowed around,
Her eyelids flickered, moistened by
The pearly dew of sorrow.

A sad smile hovered
Around her sweet mouth.
She shuddered, she trembled!
Her eyes were sore from weeping,
Her gaze was full of the longing of love,
Searching for me, as I imagined it.
Who was, like me, so happily misled,
Who was as happy as I?

I got up in order to embrace her!
And oh, she stepped back.
I saw her quickly go pale,
And her look turned more gloomy.
She looked at me in such an inward way,
She pointed with her hand,
Solemn and profoundly meaningful,
Towards heaven, and she disappeared.

Farewell, farewell, apparition!
Farewell, I know you well!
And the significance of your gesture
Is something I understand, as I should . . .
Even though separated for the time being,
A more beautiful connection unites us;
High up there, not down here,
Is where love has its fatherland!

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "Die Erscheinung" = "The apparition"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2016 by Malcolm Wren, (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: 2016-08-30
Line count: 40
Word count: 244