Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Hermann und Thusnelda
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG
 Ha, dort kömt er mit Schweiß, mit [Römerblute]1,
 Mit dem Staube der Schlacht bedeckt! so schön war
 Hermann niemals! So hats ihm 
 Nie von dem Auge geflammt!

 Kom! ich bebe vor Lust! reich mir den Adler
 Und das triefende Schwert! Kom, athm', und [ruh hier
 Aus]2 in meiner Umarmung,
 [Von der zu schrecklichen]3 Schlacht!

 Ruh hier, daß ich den Schweiß [der]4 Stirn abtrockne,
 Und der Wange das Blut! Wie glüht die Wange!
 Hermann! Hermann! so hat dich
 Niemals Thusnelda geliebt!

 Selbst nicht, [da]5 du zuerst im Eichenschatten
 Mit dem bräunlichen Arm mich wilder [faßtest]6!
 Fliehend blieb ich, und sah dir
 Schon die Unsterblichkeit an,

 Die nun dein ist! Erzählts in allen Hainen,
 Daß Augustus nun bang mit seinen Göttern
 Nektar trinket! daß Hermann,
 Hermann unsterblicher ist!

 "Warum lockst du mein Haar? Liegt nicht der stumme
 Todte Vater vor uns? O hätt' Augustus
 Seine Heere geführt; er
 Läge noch blutiger da!"

 Laß dein sinkendes Haar mich, Hermann, heben,
 Daß es über dem Kranz' [in]7 Locken drohe!
 Siegmar ist bei den Göttern!
 [Folg]8 du, und wein' ihm nicht nach!

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Klopstocks Oden. Erster Band. Leipzig bey Georg Joachim Göschen. 1798, pages 112-113; and with Oden von Klopstock. WIEN, gedruckt bey Joh. Thomas Edlen von Trattnern, k.k. Hofdruckern und Buchhändlern. 1784, pages 142-144.

Note: Hermann or Arminius (18 BC/17 BC - AD 21) was a chieftain of the Cherusci famous for defeating a Roman army in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest.

1 Schubert: "Römerblut"
2 Klopstock (1784 edition): "ruhe, / Hier"
3 Klopstock (1784 edition): "Aus von der donnernden"
4 Schubert: "von der"
5 Schubert: "als"
6 Schubert: "umfaßtest"
7 Klopstock (1784 edition): "im"
8 Schubert: "Folge"


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) , "Hermann i Thusnelda", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Herman en Thusnelda", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "Hermann and Thusnelda", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Gérard Labrunie) , "Hermann et Trusnelda", written 1830, appears in Poésies allemandes

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: 31
Word count: 180

Hermann and Thusnelda
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Ha, here he comes, covered with sweat, with the blood of Romans,
Covered with the dust of battle! This is the most beautiful
Hermann has ever been! This is the first time
His eyes have been ablaze like that.

Come, oh come, I am swooning with desire, hand me the eagle
And the dripping sword! Come, breathe and rest here
In my embrace to recover
From the terrible battle.

Rest here, so that I can wipe up the sweat from your brow
And wipe the blood off your cheek! How your cheeks are glowing!
Hermann, Hermann, like this,
Thusnelda has never loved you like this before!

Not even when in the shadow of the oak tree you first
Embraced me wildly with your browinsh arms!
Even in flight I remained and saw 
Immortality in you already,

And now it is yours. Proclaim it in all the groves,
That Augustus is now afraid as, with his gods,
He drinks nectar! Proclaim it in all the groves,
That Hermann is immortal!

Why are you curling my hair? Lying here, is not that my dumb
Dead father, in front of us? Oh, if Augustus 
Had led his troops, it is he
Who would be lying there, even more bloody!

Hermann, let me lift your drooping hair,
So that the locks can stand up to the wreath!
Siegmar is with the gods!
It is your job to follow and not weep for him!


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2017 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: 2017-07-14
Line count: 31
Word count: 242