by Karl Gottfried Theodor Winkler (1775 - 1856), as Theodor Hell
Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Das Heimweh
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Oft in einsam stillen Stunden
Hab' ich ein Gefühl empfunden
[Unerklärlich]1, wunderbar,
Das [wie]2 Sehnsucht nach der Ferne,
Hoch hinauf in bessre Sterne,
Wie ein leises Ahnen war.

[Jetzt]3, wo von der Heimath Frieden
Ich so lang schon abgeschieden
Und in weiter [Fremde]4 bin,
Fühlt ein ähnlich heißes Sehnen
Unter sanften Wehmuthsthränen
Tief bewegt mein inn'rer Sinn.

Dieses, weiß ich zu erklären,
Ist [ein inniges Begehren
Nach dem Freunde, liebend mich,
In die alten süßen Bande]5,
Nach dem theuren Vaterlande,
Und das Heimweh nennt es sich.

Wie? wenn jenes Unerklärte,
Dessen heil'ge Glut ich nährte
Stets im stillen Herzensraum,
Wenn [es]6 auch ein Heimweh wäre
Nach der höhern, bessern Sphäre,
Und ein ahnungsvoller Traum?

Wenn in Stunden seel'ger Weihe
Sich der frühern Wonnen Reihe
Dunkel wär' mein Geist bewußt;
Wenn sich neue Sinne fänden,
Die das Höhere verständen
In der tiefbewegten Brust?

Ja! so ist's! des Heimweh's Schmerzen
Zeigen meinem treuen Herzen
Eines Vaterlandes Glück,
Und was nie der Mund noch nannte,
Ist aus früherm Vaterlande
Ein beseelter Sonnenblick!

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with W.G. Becker's Taschenbuch zum geselligen Vergnügen. Herausgegeben von Friedrich Kind. Fünf und Zwanzigster Jahrgang. 1815. Leipzig bei Joh. Friedrich Gleditsch, pages 61-62; with Die Lyra. Eine Auswahl deutscher Gedichte, [...] Herausgegeben von C. F. Solbrig, Deklamator. Leipzig, 1816. bei Carl Friedrich Franz, pages 31-32; and with Carinthia. Ein Wochenblatt zum Nutzen und Vergnügen 1815. Von einer Gesellschaft Vaterlandsfreunde. Klagenfurt gedruckt mit v.Kleinmayerischen Schriften. (24.) Samstag, den 17. Juny 1815.

Note: When this song was published by Friedlaender (Peters edition), not all the stanzas of the poem were at hand, so he asked Max Kalbeck to provide two additional stanzas, which were then included in the publication. These stanzas can be found here.

1 Schubert: "Unerklärbar"
2 Winkler (Lyra): "mit"
3 Winkler (Carinthia): "Itzt"
4 Winkler (Carinthia, and Lyra): "Ferne"
5 Winkler (Carinthia): "es doch ein süß Begehren / Nach dem Freunde sicherlich / Nach dem alten Herzens-Bande"
6 Carinthia: "dieß"

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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "L'enyorança", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Het heimwee", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "Homesickness", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Nostalgie de la patrie", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website: 2003-11-05 00:00:00
Last modified: 2018-01-08 07:39:34
Line count: 36
Word count: 169

Homesickness
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Frequently, alone at quiet times
I have experienced a feeling,
Inexplicable, wonderful,
That is like a longing for what is far away,
High up amongst better stars,
And which was like a gentle intimation.

Now, where, from the peace of home
I have been separated for so long,
Where I am in a distant alien place,
There is a similar feeling of hot longing 
As I cry soft tears of sadness
And my inner mind is deeply disturbed.

This, I know I can explain it,
Is an inner wish
For my friend, loving me,
Amongst those old sweet connections,
And for my dear fatherland,
And it is called homesickness.

How? If that something inexplicable
Whose holy glow suckled me
Still remains in the quiet space of my heart,
Could that also be a form of homesickness
For those higher, better spheres
And a dream that is full of intimations?

When in times of soulful dedication
The former system of bliss
Appeared in vague consciousness in my spirit;
Could new states of awareness be discovered
Which would lead to some understanding of what is higher
In my deeply moved breast?

Yes! That is how it is! The pains of homesickness
Show my devoted heart
The happiness of a fatherland,
And what the mouth has never yet named
Comes from that former fatherland,
It is a ray of soulful sunshine!

Authorship

  • 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.
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Based on

 

Text added to the website: 2017-09-28 00:00:00
Last modified: 2018-01-11 13:44:45
Line count: 36
Word count: 228