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

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Der Weg ist schwer, der Weg ist weit,
Doch kann ich nicht zurück;
Wer einmal dein ist, Einsamkeit,
Dem bist du Tod und Glück.
Die Sehnsucht brennt; von drunten her
Ruft mütterlich die Welt;
Wie ist ihr Ruf von Liebe schwer,
Wie rot von Lust erhellt.
Doch wer den ersten Becher trank
Vom Wasser Einsamkeit,
Dem singt kein Vogel mehr zum Dank,
Der geht nicht mehr zu zweit.

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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 552-553.


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) , "Solitude", copyright © 2018, (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: 2009-05-20
Line count: 12
Word count: 68

Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
The way is difficult, the way is long,
But I cannot go back;
He who once belongs to you, solitude,
To him you are death and happiness.

Yearning burns; from down below
The world calls like a mother;
How her cry is laden with love,
How rosily bright with joy.

But he who has quaffed the first goblet
Of the water solitude,
To him no bird sings more in gratitude,
He no longer walks as a twosome with anyone else.

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  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2018 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: 2018-01-07
Line count: 12
Word count: 80