Translation © by Laura Prichard

Der getreue Eckart
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG FRE
In der finstern Mitternacht
Steht der Ritter auf der Wacht,
Schauet hin nach jeder Seit,
Droht mit seinem Schwerte weit.

Wer auch anzukommen wagt,
Dieses eine sei gesagt:
Dieser Berg ist nicht geheuer,
Drinnen brennt das Höllenfeuer.

Was für süße Töne auch,
Was euch winken schöne Fraun:
Eure Seele muß verderben,
Muß dem Himmel hier absterben.


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "Le fidèle Eckart", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , title 1: "De getrouwe Eckart", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , title 1: "The Faithful Eckart", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:53
Line count: 12
Word count: 56

The Faithful Eckart
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
In midnight’s darkness
The knight stands at the watch,
He gazes out in all directions,
Drawing his sword slowly through the air.

Whoever dares to come here,
Let this be said to him:
This mountain is bewitched,
Within it burns hellfire.

Whatever sweet tones you may hear,
even if beautiful women beckon to you:
Your soul will surely perish,
Atrophy, die, and flee to heaven.

Translator's note: Ludwig Tieck’s “The Faithful Eckhart” (1799) is one of the sources of Wagner's Tannhäuser. In this old German legend, an old man (often with a white staff or sword) perishes to save his master’s children from the fiends of a mountain. Sometimes he is presented as a companion to Tannhäuser, someone who warns travelers from the Venusburg, or someone who warns of a phantasmal Maundy Thursday procession of dead men.


  • 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: 2016-10-22 00:00:00
Last modified: 2016-10-22 13:53:33
Line count: 12
Word count: 65