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

Tropfen sinken, die Luft ist bang
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Tropfen sinken, die Luft ist bang.
Noch geht kein Wind.
Ein Trunkener singt die Straße entlang.
Sein Lied ist irr und schwach wie ein Kind.

Nun schweigt er ganz:
Der Himmel zerreißt
Und grell im blauweißen Glanz
Der Blitze die Straße gleißt.

Wie Getrabe von weißen Rossen
Rauscht Regen heran.
Alles Licht erlosch, alle Form zerrann,
Stürzende Wogen halten mich eingeschlossen.

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, pages 155-156.


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 © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor] , Pierre Mathé [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2013-03-04
Line count: 12
Word count: 61

Drops descend, the air is anxious
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Drops descend, the air is anxious.
No wind blows yet.
A drunk sings his way along the street.
His song is insane and weak as a child.

Now he falls completely silent:
The sky is torn open
And garishly in the blue-white radiance
Of the lightning the street gleams.

Like the sound of the hooves of white horses
The rain rushes upon us.
All light has gone out, all forms have dissolved,
Plunging waves hold me trapped.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"Gewitterregen in der Sommernacht (in Unterwegs)" = "Thunderstorm in a summer night"
"Sommernacht" = "Summer night"


  • 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:

  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962), title 1: "Sommernacht", title 2: "Gewitterregen in der Sommernacht (in Unterwegs)", subtitle: "(1910)", written 1910, appears in Unterwegs, first published 1911


This text was added to the website: 2018-06-18
Line count: 12
Word count: 77