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

Du bist, mein fernes Tal
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
[Du]1 bist, mein [fernes]2 Tal,
Verzaubert und versunken. 
Oft hast du mir in Not und Qual
Empor aus deinem Schattenland gewunken
Und deine Mädchenaugen aufgetan,
Daß ich entzückt in kurzem Wahn
Mich ganz zu dir zurück verlor. 

O dunkles Tor, 
O dunkle Todesstunde, 
Komm du heran, daß ich gesunde 
Und daß aus dieses Lebens Leere
Ich heim zu meinen Träumen kehre!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

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 195.

1 Schwarz: "O Kindheit, du"
2 Stier: "stilles"


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) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: John Versmoren , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 61

You are, my distant valley
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
[You]1 are, my [distant]2 valley,
Enchanted and rapt.
In affliction and agony you have often
Waved to me from your shadowland
And opened your maiden-eyes,
So that, enraptured in a short illusion,
I completely lost myself back to you.

Oh dark gateway,
Oh dark hour of death,
Approach that I might be healed
And that from out of this life’s emptiness
I may return home to my dreams!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Translations of title(s):
"Die Kindheit" = "Childhood"
"Kindheit" = "Childhood"

1 Schwarz: "Oh childhood, you"
2 Stier: "quiet"


  • 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: 2017-10-25
Line count: 12
Word count: 68