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Wohin? Wohin? Lau schläft am See die weiche Nacht Und hat im weiten Lande Wald, Strom und Menschen müd gemacht. Ein Tönen ist erklungen Aus dumpfen Erdentiefen her Und hat sich zart erschwungen Ins Reich der Luft und tönet Wie Harfen zart und Glocken schwer. Wohin? Wohin? Mich hat ein Ton gerufen Aus dumpfen Erdentiefen her, Führt über dunkle Stufen Empor und sehnlich weiter, Nun schwingt er aus und tönt nicht mehr. Ein Nachtvogel rauschet Vorüber und schlägt mit den Flügeln. Schon schmilzt es über den Hügeln Ins dunkle Schweigen, und rauschet Und fragt und lockt nicht mehr.
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Please note: this text, provided here for educational and research use, is in the public domain in Canada and the U.S., but it may still be copyright in other legal jurisdictions. The LiederNet Archive makes no guarantee that the above text is public domain in your country. Please consult your country's copyright statutes or a qualified IP attorney to verify whether a certain text is in the public domain in your country or if downloading or distributing a copy constitutes fair use. The LiederNet Archive assumes no legal responsibility or liability for the copyright compliance of third parties.
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 157.
- by Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962), "Nachtgang", subtitle: "(1906)", written 1906, appears in Unterwegs, first published 1911 [author's text checked 2 times against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):
- by Joseph Haas (1879 - 1960), "Nachtgang", op. 65 no. 5, published 1925 [ high voice and piano ], from Unterwegs, no. 5 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Friedrich Scholz (b. 1926), "Nachtgang" [ voice and piano ], from Acht Liedvertonungen nach Gedichten von Rose Ausländer, Mascha Kaléko und Herrmann Hesse, no. 7 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Herbert Schultz (b. 1911), "Wohin? Wohin?", 1959 [ four-part men's chorus a cappella ], from Im Zauberkreis der Nacht - Drei Männerchöre, no. 3 [sung text checked 1 time]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , subtitle: "(1906)", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Marche de la nuit", copyright © 2013, (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: 2009-04-29
Line count: 20
Word count: 98
Whither? Whither? The soft night sleeps warmly beside the lake And all around in the land It has made forest, river and people weary. A sound has rung out From the muffled depths of the earth And has gently swung itself upward Into the realm of air, and sounds Like delicate harps and heavy bells. Whither? Whither? A sound has called me From the muffled depths of the earth; It leads upward and yearningly onward Over dark steps; Now it ceases vibrating and sounds no more. A night-bird swoops Past and beats its wings. Already [the sound] melts away over the hills Into dark silence, and soughs And asks and entices no more.
About the headline (FAQ)
Translations of title(s):
"Nachtgang" = "Nightime walk"
"Wohin? Wohin?" = "Whither? Whither?"
- 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.
- a text in German (Deutsch) by Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962), "Nachtgang", subtitle: "(1906)", written 1906, appears in Unterwegs, first published 1911
This text was added to the website: 2019-04-12
Line count: 20
Word count: 113