by Erik Axel Karlfeldt (1864 - 1931)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Längtan heter min arvedel
Language: Swedish (Svenska) 
Available translation(s): ENG FIN GER
Längtan heter min arvedel,
slottet i saknadens dalar.
Sakta ett underligt strängaspel
tonar igenom dess salar.

Säg, vadan kväller du, klagande ström,
djupt ur de skumma gemaken,
du som mig sjunger om [dagen]1 i dröm,
sjunger om natten mig vaken?

Vem är den själ som i suck och i ton
andas från hemliga strängar,
ljuvligt som doften från humlornas bon
flyter på gulnande ängar?

Somrarna blekna och solar gå ner,
timmarna varda mig tunga,
rosorna dofta i vissna kvarter,
minnena viska och sjunga.

Klinga, du klagande strängaspel,
sällskap i drömmande salar!
Längan heter min arvedel,
slottet i saknadens dalar.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 note: some songs may have "natten" here. (Peterson-Berger has "dagen").


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 (Emily Ezust) , copyright © 2019
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Kaipuu on minun perintöosani", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Sehnsucht heißt es, mein Erbeteil", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 20
Word count: 99

Longing is my inheritance
Language: English  after the Swedish (Svenska) 
Longing is my inheritance,
A castle in the valley of loss.
Softly the music of a strange lyre
Resounds through its halls.

Tell me why you flow, lamenting stream,
Out of the depths of gloomy rooms,
You who sing me into dreams by day,
And wake me with your singing at night?

Whose is the soul that breathes, in sighs and tones,
From those secret strings,
Lovely as the scent from the bees' hives
Floating over yellowing meadows?

The summers fade and the sun goes down;
The hours become heavy for me,
The roses are fragrant in withered beds,
Memories whisper and sing.

Resound, lamenting strings,
My only companion in these dreaming halls!
Longing is my inheritance,
A castle in the valley of loss.

About the headline (FAQ)


  • Translation from Swedish (Svenska) to English copyright © 2019 by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive --

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2019-07-21
Line count: 20
Word count: 124