possibly by Georg Scherer (1824 - 1909)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Ringsum ist es dunkle Nacht,
  Einsam auf den Straßen;
Nur der Wächter auf der Wacht
  Ruft durch Markt und Gassen.
        Gebt fein acht,
        Lauschet sacht,
  Daß wir ihn nicht verpassen!

"Hört und merkt's, ihr jungen Herrn,
  Neun Uhr hat's geschlagen;
Schlüpft in eure Federn gern,
  Thut nicht lange fragen;
        Bis die Stern'
        Und Latern'n
   Loschen am hellen Tage!

Aber dann springt rasch empor
  Schon am frühen Morgen;
Wascht euch munter Aug' und Ohr,
  Daß ihr fein könnt horchen.
        Seht euch vor,
        Daß nicht 's Rohr
  Muß für das Lernen sorgen!

Nun gut' Nacht, ihr jungen Herrn
  Und ihr kleinen Damen!
Friedlich ziehen Mond und Stern',
Schlaft in Gottes Namen!
        Nah und fern
        Will er gern
Alle behüten. Amen."

Confirmed with Alte und neue Kinderlieder, Fabeln, Sprüche und Räthsel, herausgegeben von (edited by) G. Scherer, Leipzig: Verlag von Gustav Mayer, 1849, pages 48-50. The poem does not indicate an author, but the Verzeichniss des Musikalien-Verlags von Fr. Kistner in Leipzig (1894, page 310), indicates that the poem is by Scherer. We have not yet found another source to clarify its authorship.


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 (Sharon Krebs) , "Nightwatchman", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2011-05-04
Line count: 28
Word count: 118

Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Round about it is dark night,
  It is lonely upon the streets;
Only the watchman upon his beat
  Calls through the marketplace and lanes.
        Pay attention well,
        Harken gently,
  So that we do not miss him passing by!

"Listen and note, you young gentlemen,
  It has struck nine;
Slip into your featherbeds gladly,
  Do not tarry asking questions;
        Until the stars
        And the lanterns
  Are extinguished at the bright day!

But then leap rapidly up
  Already in the early morning;
Merrily wash your eyes and ears,
  So that you can listen acutely.
        Take good care
        That the switch does not
  Have to see to it that you learn!

Now good night, you young gentlemen
  And you little ladies!
Moon and stars course peacefully [across the sky],
Sleep in God’s name!
        Far and near
        He gladly desires
To protect everyone. Amen."


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2017 by Sharon Krebs, (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: 2017-08-25
Line count: 28
Word count: 140