by Nikolaus Lenau (1802 - 1850)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Nächtliche Wanderung
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT ENG FRE
Die Nacht ist finster, schwül und bang,
Der Wind im Walde tost;
Ich wandre fort die Nacht entlang
Und finde keinen Trost.

Und mir zur Seite, engelmild,
Und, ach! so schmerzlich traut,
Zieht mein Geleite hin, das Bild
Von meiner toten Braut.

Ihr bleiches Antlitz bittet mich,
Was mich ihr süßer Mund
So zärtlich bat und feierlich
In ihrer Sterbestund':

"Bezwinge fromm die Todeslust,
Die dir im Auge starrt,
Wenn man mich bald von deiner Brust
Fortreißet und verscharrt!"

Da unten braust der wilde Bach,
Führt reichen, frischen Tod,
Die Wogen rufen laut mir nach:
"Komm, komm und trinke Tod!"

Das klingt so lieblich wie Musik,
Wird wo ein Paar getraut:
Doch zieht vom Sprunge mich zurück
Das Wort der toten Braut.

Stets finstrer wird der Wolkendrang,
Der Sturm im Walde brüllt,
Und ferne hebt sich Donnerklang,
Der immer stärker schwillt.

O schlängle dich, du Wetterstrahl,
Herab, ein Faden mir,
Der aus dem Labyrinth der Qual
Hinaus mich führt zu dir!


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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Caminada nocturna", copyright © 2021, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "A walk in the night", copyright © 2019
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Marche nocturne", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Alberto Pedrotti

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 32
Word count: 161

A walk in the night
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
The night is dark, muggy, and anxious,
The wind roars in the wood;
I travel onward through the night
And find no solace.

And at my side, as mild as an angel,
And ah, so grievously dear,
Moves my companion, the image
of my dead bride.

Her pale face entreats me
What her sweet lips
So endearingly and solemnly bade me
In the hour of her death:

"Piously overcome the desire for death
That gazes out of your eyes,
When from your breast I am soon
Torn and hastily buried!"

Down below, the wild brook races,
Promising rich, cool death;
Its waves call loudly to me:
"Come, come and drink death!"

It rings as beautifully as the music
Played when a couple is wed:
Yet I am held back from this leap
By the words of my dead bride.

Ever darker grows the press of clouds,
The storm rages in the wood,
And in the distance the sound of thunder grows,
Rising ever more strongly.

Oh curl down, you flash of lightning,
Send one filament down to me,
So that out of this labyrinth of sorrow
It may lead me up to her!


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) 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: 2019-08-11
Line count: 32
Word count: 193