Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Mutter geht durch ihre Kammern
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Mutter geht durch ihre Kammern
Räumt die [Schränke]1 ein und aus,
Sucht, und weiß nicht was, mit Jammern,
Findet nichts, als leeres Haus.

Leeres Haus! O Wort der Klage,
Dem, der einst ein holdes Kind
Drin gegängelt hat am Tage,
Drin gewiegt in Nächten lind.

Wieder grünen wohl die Buchen,
Wieder kommt der Sonne Licht,
Aber, Mutter, laß' Dein Suchen,
Wieder kommt Dein Liebes nicht.

Und wenn Abendlüfte fächeln,
Vater heim zum Herde kehrt,
Regt sich's fast in ihm, wie Lächeln,
Dran doch gleich die Thräne zehrt.

Vater weiß, in seinen Zimmern
Findet er die Todesruh',
Hört nur bleicher Mutter Wimmern,
Und kein Kindlein lacht ihm zu.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Neue romantische Unterhaltungs-Bibliothek für die gebildete und elegante Lesewelt. I. Band. Undine, eine Erzählung. Von Friedrich Baron de la Motte Fouqué. Wien 1814. In der F. Haas'schen Buchhandlung, page 97; and with Die Jahreszeiten. Eine Vierteljahresschrift für romantische Dichtungen. Herausgegeben von Friedrich Baron de la Motte Fouqué u.a.m. 1811. Frühlings-Heft. Berlin, bei J. E. Hitzig, pages 108-109.

1 Schubert: "Sachen"


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) , "Cançó", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Lied D.373 'Het lege huis'", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Chant", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Richard Morris , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 20
Word count: 107

The mother goes through her rooms
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
The mother goes through her rooms,
She rifles through the [cupboards]1,
She is searching, and she doesn't know for what, she wails but
She finds nothing but an empty house.

Empty house! Oh lamentable word
For someone who once had a beautiful child
To dangle there during the day,
Who used to rock it gently to sleep there at night.

The beech trees are already turning green again,
The sun's light is coming back,
But, mother, put an end to your search,
Your loved one is not coming back.

And when evening breezes stir,
The father returns home to the hearth,
Something moves within him, like a smile,
But then suddenly tears take over.

The father knows that in his rooms
He will find a deathly calm,
All he can hear is the pale mother's whimpering
And no child is going to smile back at him.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Translation of title "Lied" = "Song"
1 Schubert: "things"


  • 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: 2017-07-16
Line count: 20
Word count: 146