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

Ich soll erzählen
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE ITA
Ich soll erzählen,
Die Nacht ist schon spät -
Willst du mich quälen,
Schöne Elisabeth?

Daran ich dichte
Und du dazu,
Meine Liebesgeschichte
Ist dieser Abend und du.

Du mußt nicht stören,
Die Reime verwehn.
Bald wirst du sie hören,
Hören und nicht verstehn.

About the headline (FAQ)

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 68.


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 © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Tu vuoi da me un racconto", copyright © 2009, (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: 2009-04-30
Line count: 12
Word count: 44

I am to tell stories
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
I am to tell stories,
The night is already far advanced-
Do you wish to torture me,
Lovely Elizabeth?

That upon which I am creatively engaged
And you in addition,
My love story
Is this evening and you.

You must not disturb me,
The rhymes are being wafted away.
Soon you shall hear them,
Hear them and not understand them.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"Ich soll erzählen" = "I am to tell stories"
"Elisabeth" = "Elizabeth"


  • 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: 2018-05-02
Line count: 12
Word count: 60