by Georg Trakl (1887 - 1914)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

In ein altes Stammbuch
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE ITA
Immer wieder kehrst du Melancholie,
O Sanftmut der einsamen Seele.
Zu Ende glüht ein goldener Tag.

Demutsvoll beugt sich dem Schmerz der Geduldige
Tönend von Wohllaut und weichem Wahnsinn.
Siehe! es dämmert schon.

Wieder kehrt die Nacht und klagt ein Sterbliches
Und es leidet ein anderes mit.

Schaudern unter herbstlichen Sternen
Neigt sich jährlich tiefer das Haupt.


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 (Bertram Kottmann) , "Into an old friendship book", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Dans un vieil album de famille", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "In un vecchio album di famiglia", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 10
Word count: 57

Into an old friendship book
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Again and again you return, melancholy,
o, meekness of the lonely soul.
A golden day glows to its end.
Humbly the patient one bows to grief
resounding with harmony and mellow madness.
Look! It is already dusking.
Again night descends and a mortal laments
and another shares his sorrow.

Shivering under autumn stars
the head bends deeper year by year.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2018 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT)

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Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2018-11-28
Line count: 10
Word count: 60