by Samuel Heinrich Spiker (1786 - 1858)
Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Mich führt mein Weg wohl meilenlang
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Mich führt mein Weg wohl meilenlang
Durch Golf und Strom und Wassergrab,
Die Welle kennt den Runensang
Und glättet sich zum Spiegel ab.

Die Welle kennt den Runensang,
Der Golf wird glatt, der Strom [ist]1 still;
Doch Menschenherz, im wilden Drang,
Es weiß nicht, was es selber will.

Nur eine Stund' ist mir vergönnt,
In Jahresfrist, zum Klageton:
Sie schlägt, wenn diese Lampe brennt -
Ihr Schein [erlischt]2 - sie ist entflohn.

Heil, Magnus Töchter, fort und fort!
Die Lampe brennt in tiefer Ruh;
Euch gönn' ich dieser Stunde Wort -
Erwacht, erhebt Euch, hört mir zu!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Der Pirat. Aus dem Englischen des Walter Scott, übersetzt von S. H. Spiker. Zweiter Band. Berlin, bei Duncker und Humblot. 1822, pages 150-151.

1 Schubert: "wird"
2 Schubert: "verlischt"


Based on

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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Richard Morris , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2003-11-07
Line count: 16
Word count: 97

My course has already led me many miles
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
My course has already led me many miles
Across gulfs and streams and watery graves,
The waves know the runic song
And flatten out to become a mirror.

The waves know the runic song,
The gulf becomes smooth, the stream becomes quiet;
Yet the human heart, with a savage force,
It does not know what it itself desires.

I am permitted only one hour
In the course of a year in which to utter my lament:
The hour strikes when this lamp is burning - 
When its glow goes out - the hour has fled.

Hail, daughters of Magnus, onwards, ever onwards!
The lamp is burning in deep calm;
At this hour I am permitted to speak to you - 
Awake, arise, listen to me!

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "Gesang der Norna" = "Norna's song"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2020 by Malcolm Wren, (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.

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This text was added to the website: 2020-01-03
Line count: 16
Word count: 125