by Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Der alte Landstreicher
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Die warme Zeit ist wieder da,
Nun gehen allwärts fern und nah
Die Vagabunden auf den Strich
Und keiner rastet mehr als ich.

O wollte Gott mein Bein wär heil --
Ich ließ dem Armenhaus mein Teil
Und ginge über Flur und Bach
Ins Weite meinen Brüdern nach.

Nun aber sitz ich bis zur Nacht
Im Hoftor einsam auf der Wacht,
Und kommt ein Wandrer ohne Schuh,
Ruf ich ihm traurig Servus zu!

Confirmed with Hermann Hesse, Sämtliche Werke, herausgegeben von Volker Michels, Band 10 Die Gedichte, bearbeitet von Peter Huber, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2002, page 114.


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) , "The old vagabond", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Le vieux vagabond", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Ferdinando Albeggiani , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2008-06-13
Line count: 12
Word count: 72

The old vagabond
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
The warm time has come again,
Everywhere now, far and near,
The vagabonds go on the stroll
And none of them rests more than I.

Oh would God that my leg were well --
I would leave my part to the poorhouse
And would follow my brethern
Into the distance over meadow and stream.

But now I sit until nightfall
In the gateway, on guard in solitude,
And if a wanderer without shoes comes along,
I sadly call out a Hello to him!


  • 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: 2017-09-25
Line count: 12
Word count: 82