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

Kleiner Gesang
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Zauber aus sterbendem Licht,
Glück wie Musik zerronnen,
Schmerz im Madonnengesicht,
Daseins bittere Wonnen...

Blüten vom Sturm gefegt,
Kränze auf Gräber gelegt,
Heiterkeit ohne Dauer,
Stern, der ins Dunkel fällt:
Schleier von Schönheit und Trauer
Über dem Abgrund der Welt.

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 398.


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) , "Little Song", 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: 2009-06-14
Line count: 11
Word count: 41

Little Song
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Rainbow poem,
Enchantment from out of the dying light,
Happiness that trickled away like music,
Pain in the face of the Madonna,
The bitter blisses of being...

Blossoms swept by the storm,
Wreaths laid upon graves,
Merriment without permanence,
Star that falls into darkness:
Veils of beauty and mourning
Over the abyss of the world.


  • 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: 2018-01-24
Line count: 11
Word count: 55