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

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Laufeuchte Winde schweifen,
Nachtvögel hört man überm Ried
Mit schweren Flügeln streifen
Und fern im Dorf ein Fischerlied.

Aus niegewesenen Zeiten
Sind trübe Sagen angestimmt
Und Klagen um ewige Leiden;
Weh dem, der sie bei Nacht vernimmt!

Laß klagen, Kind, laß rauschen!
Rings ist die Welt vom Leide schwer.
Wir wollen den Vögeln lauschen
Und auch dem Lied vom Dorfe her.

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 133.


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) , "At night", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Tombée de la nuit", 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: 2009-05-01
Line count: 12
Word count: 61

At night
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Warm, humid winds roam about,
One hears night-birds roving
Over the reeds with heavy wings,
And far away in the village the song of a fisherman.

From times that never were,
Dreary voices are raised
And laments over eternal sufferings;
Woe unto him, who perceives them at night!

Let them lament, child, let them rustle!
The world around is laden with suffering.
Let us listen to the birds
And also to the song from the village.


  • 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: 2018-02-09
Line count: 12
Word count: 76