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

Der Brief
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Es geht ein Wind von Westen,
Die Linden stöhnen sehr,
Der Mond lugt aus den Ästen
In meine Stube her.

Ich habe meiner Lieben,
Die mich verlassen hat, 
Einen langen Brief geschrieben,
Der Mond scheint auf das Blatt.

Bei seinem stillen Scheinen,
Das über die Zeilen geht,
Vergisst mein Herz vor Weinen
Schlaf, Mond und Nachtgebet.

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 121.


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 letter", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "La lettre", 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 between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 56

The letter
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
A wind is blowing from the west,
The linden trees are groaning mightily,
The moon peers from amidst the branches
Into my chamber.

To my beloved, who has
Left me, I have written
A long letter,
The moon shines upon the page.

At its quiet shining,
Which passes over the lines,
For weeping my heart forgets
Sleep, moon and nighttime prayer.


  • 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: 2017-10-12
Line count: 12
Word count: 61