by Emanuel von Geibel (1815 - 1884)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Die Luft ist grau und grau das Meer
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Die Luft ist grau und grau das Meer,
Der Wind fegt pfeifend drüber her,
Die Möwe kreischt, die Brandung wallt, --
Wie ward mein Herz so sterbensalt!
  Traurig rinnen die Tage.

Wohl hab' ich andre [Zeit]1 gekannt,
Wir fuhren im Nachen, Hand in Hand,
Das Meer war blau, die Sonne schien,
Ich sah und wußte nichts als ihn;
  Selig waren die Tage.

Nun liegt der Kahn und fault am Strand,
Er aber ging ins fremde Land,
Er ging, ein hohes Weib zu frein, --
Gott geb' ihm Glück! Das Leid ist mein.
  Traurig rinnen die Tage.

About the headline (FAQ)

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Confirmed with Emanuel Geibel, Spätherbstblätter, Stuttgart: Verlag der J.G. Cotta’schen Buchhandlung, 1877, page 221

1 Courvoisier: "Zeiten"


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

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

This text was added to the website: 2011-08-03
Line count: 15
Word count: 94

The air is grey and grey the sea
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
The air is grey and grey the sea,
Whistling, the wind sweeps across it,
The seagull screams, the waves surge, --
How my heart has become so aged with death!
  The days flow by sadly.

Truly I knew [another time]1,
We floated in a barque, hand in hand,
The sea was blue, the sun shone,
I saw and knew nothing but him;
  Blissful were the days.

Now the barque lies moldering on the shore,
But he went into a foreign land,
He went to court a woman of high station, --
May God give him joy! The sorrow is mine.
  The days flow by sadly.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Translations of title(s):
"Die Luft ist grau" = "The air is grey"
"Traurig rinnen die Tage" = "The days flow sadly"
"Nordisch" = "Nordic"
"Verlassen" = "Forsaken"
"November" = "November"
"Nordisches Mädchenlied" = "Nordic song of a maiden"
"Mädchenlied" = "Song of a maiden"

1 Courvoisier: "other times"


  • 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.

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This text was added to the website: 2017-11-04
Line count: 15
Word count: 103