by Karl Stieler (1842 - 1885)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

O Winterwaldnacht, stumm und hehr
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
O Winterwaldnacht, stumm und hehr, 
Mit deinen eisumglänzten Zweigen,
Lautlos und pfadlos, schneelastschwer --
Wie ist das groß -- dein stolzes Schweigen! 

Es blinkt der Vollmond klar und kalt,
In tausend funkelharten Ketten
Sind festgeschmiedet Berg und Wald,
Nichts kann von diesem Bann erretten.

Der Vogel fällt, das Wild bricht ein,
Der Quell erstarrt, die Fichten beben;
So ringt den großen Kampf ums Sein
Ein tausendfaches banges Leben.

Doch in den Dörfern, traut und sacht,
Da läuten heut zur Welt hienieden 
Die Weihnachtsglocken durch die Nacht 
Ihr Wunderlied -- vom ew'gen Frieden.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Karl Stieler, Neue Hochlandslieder, herausgegeben von Karl Quenzel, Leipzig: Hesse & Becker Verlag, [1917], page 48.


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) , subtitle: "(December.)", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2018-10-11
Line count: 16
Word count: 89

Oh winter forest night, mute and lofty
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Oh winter forest night, mute and lofty,
With your branches encrusted in radiant ice,
With no sound and no paths, laden with snow --
How great it is -- your proud silence!

The full moon gleams, clear and cold.
Mountains and forests are firmly fettered
In a thousand sparkling hard chains;
Nothing can deliver them from this enchantment.

The bird falls, the wild beasts fall through [the ice],
The water-spring freezes, the firs tremble;
Thus, in the great battle for existence
Wrestles a thousand-fold anxious life.

But in the villages, familiar and gentle,
There today to the world below
The Christmas bells sound through the night
Their wondrous song -- of eternal peace.

Subtitle: "(December.)"

About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"December. In der Christnacht" = "December. On Christmas Eve"
"In der Christnacht" = "On Christmas Eve"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2019 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: 2019-01-03
Line count: 16
Word count: 110