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

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
In einem welken Garten singt
Zum Brummbaß eine Violine,
Ein altes Paar im Takte springt
Und lächelt kühl mit müder Miene.

Und jeder weiß; der andere denkt,
Wie anders doch vor zwanzig Jahren,
Wie heiß und handinhandgedrängt
Dieselben alten Tänze waren.

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 22.


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) , "Gavotte", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Gavotte", 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: 2009-06-07
Line count: 8
Word count: 41

Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
In a wilting garden sings
A violin to the accompaniment of a bourdon,
An old couple leaps about in the rhythm
And smiles coolly with weary mien.

And each knows; the other thinks,
How different indeed twenty years ago,
How fervent and hand-pressing-urgently-into-hand
The same old dances were.


  • 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: 2018-05-30
Line count: 8
Word count: 48