by Georg Trakl (1887 - 1914)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE ITA
Schlaf und Tod, die düstern Adler
Umrauschen nachtlang dieses Haupt:
Des Menschen goldnes Bildnis
Verschlänge die eisige Woge
Der Ewigkeit. An schaurigen Riffen
Zerschellt der purpurne Leib
Und es klagt die dunkle Stimme
Über dem Meer.
Schwester stürmischer Schwermut
Sieh ein ängstlicher Kahn versinkt
Unter Sternen,
Dem schweigenden Antlitz der Nacht.


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):

  • ENG English (Bertram Kottmann) , "Lament", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Plainte", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Lamento", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Harry Joelson

This text was added to the website: 2007-07-29
Line count: 12
Word count: 51

Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Sleep and death - sinister eagles
whirr all night long around this head:
Eternity’s freezing wave
would devour the golden image
of man. On horrible reefs
the purple body is shattered
and the dark voice laments
above the seas.
Sister of stormy sadness,
see, a fearful boat is sinking
under stars,
the silent countenance of night. 


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2017 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT)

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Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2017-01-18
Line count: 12
Word count: 56