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

Möchten viele Seelen dies verstehen
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
[Möchten viele Seelen]1 dies verstehen,
Möchten viele Liebende es lernen: 
So im eigenen Dufte sich berauschen, 
So verliebt dem Mörder Wind zu lauschen,
So in rosiges Blätterspiel verwehen,
Lächelnd sich vom Liebesmahl entfernen,
So den Abschied als ein Fest begehen,
So gelöst dem Leiblichen entsinken 
Und wie einen Kuß den Tod zu trinken.

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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 307.

1 Schwarz-Schillig: "Mögen viele"


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 © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: John Versmoren , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 9
Word count: 53

May many souls understand this
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
May many souls understand this,
May many lovers learn it:
Thus to intoxicate oneself in one’s own scent,
Thus in love to listen to the murderer wind,
Thus to be dispersed in the rosy play of leaves,
To smilingly remove oneself from the feast of love,
Thus to celebrate leave-taking,
Thus released to slip from the mortal
And to drink death like a kiss.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"Verwelkende Rosen" = "Wilting roses"
"Möchten viele Seelen dies verstehen" = "May many souls understand this"
"Welkende Rosen" = "Wilting roses"


  • 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.

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This text was added to the website: 2019-02-24
Line count: 9
Word count: 64