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

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
[Aus lang verschwundener]1 Völker Lieder her
Klingt oft ein Ton verwandt uns bis ins Herz,
Daß wir betroffen und mit halbem Schmerz
Hinüberlauschen, ob dort Heimat wär.

[So auch ist]2 unsres Herzschlags Ab und Auf
In festem Bann geknüpft ans Herz der Welt,
Das unsern Schlaf und unser Wachen hält
Im Einklang mit der Sonn' und Sterne Lauf.

Und unsrer wildesten Wünsche trübe Flut
Und unsrer frechsten Träume Fieberbrand
Ist Geist vom Urgeist, der noch nie geruht.

So gehn wir, unsre Fackeln in der Hand,
Gezeugt, genährt von uralt heilger Glut
Und ewig neuen Sonnen zugewandt.

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, pages 189-190.

1 Nørgaard: "Aus längst verschwundner"
2 Nørgaard: "So ist auch"


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) , "Interrelationship", 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: 2009-05-26
Line count: 14
Word count: 96

Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
From the songs of long-vanished peoples
A kindred tone often rings right to our hearts,
So that, taken aback and half with pain, 
We harken over yonder, if there might be a homeland there.

Thus as well is the up and down of our heartbeat
Knit in firm enchantment to the heart of the world,
Which holds our sleeping and our waking
In unison with the paths of the sun and the stars.

And the murky flood of our wildest wishes
And the feverish burning of our most audacious dreams
Is spirit from the original spirit, who has never yet rested.

Thus we go on, our torches in our hands,
Begotten, nourished from the ancient holy glow
And ever turned toward new suns.


  • 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: 2017-11-19
Line count: 14
Word count: 123