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

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Wenn alle Nachbarn schlafen gangen
Und alle Fenster dunkel sind,
Bin ich noch wach mit heißen Wangen,
Das heimatlose Königskind.

Dann schmück ich mich mit Purpurträumen,
Mit Gürtel, Krone und Geschmeid,
Dann rauscht mit goldverbrämten Säumen
Um meine Knie das Königskleid.

Und meine Seele reckt sich mächtig
In Lust und Sehnsucht, stark und bleich,
Und schafft sich stumm und mitternächtig
Ein mondbeglänztes Heimwehreich.

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 32-33.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "Royal child", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Enfant de roi", copyright © 2017, (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: 2009-05-01
Line count: 12
Word count: 63

Royal child
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
When all the neighbours have gone to bed
And all the windows are dark,
I am still awake with burning cheeks,
I, the homeless royal child.

Then I adorn myself with crimson dreams,
With girdle, crown and jewellery,
Then my royal gown with gold-edged seams
Rustles about my knees.

And my soul stretches itself mightily
In joy and yearning, strong and pale,
And mutely at midnight, it creates for itself
A realm of homesickness, suffused by moonlight.


  • 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: 2019-01-16
Line count: 12
Word count: 77