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

Ich liebe Frauen, die vor tausend Jahren
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Ich liebe Frauen, die vor tausend Jahren
Geliebt von Dichtern und besungen waren.

Ich liebe Städte, deren leere Mauern
Königsgeschlechter alter Zeit betrauern.

Ich liebe Städte, die erstehen werden,
Wenn niemand mehr von heute lebt auf Erden.

Ich liebe Frauen -- schlanke, wunderbare,
Die ungeboren ruhn im Schoß der Jahre.

Sie werden einst mit ihrer sternebleichen
Schönheit der Schönheit meiner Träume gleichen.

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 71.


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 © 2019, (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: 2009-05-19
Line count: 10
Word count: 61

I love women, who a thousand years ago
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
I love women, who a thousand years ago
Were loved by poets and praised by them in song.

I love cities whose empty walls
Mourn the royal dynasties of olden times.

I love cities that shall come into being
When no one from the present still lives on earth.

I love women -- slender ones, wondrous ones,
Who rest unborn in the womb of the years.

Someday with their star-pale beauty they shall
Equal the beauty of my dreams.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"Ich liebe Frauen, die vor tausend Jahren" = "I love women, who a thousand years ago"
"Ich liebe Frauen --" = "I love women --"


  • 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: 2018-09-28
Line count: 10
Word count: 78