by Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim (1719 - 1803)
Translation © by Laura Prichard

Der Greis
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE SPA
Hin ist alle meine Kraft!
Alt und schwach bin ich;
Wenig nur erquicket mich
Scherz und Rebensaft!

Hin ist alle meine Zier!
Meiner Wangen Roth
Ist hinweggeflohn! Der Tod
Klopft an meine Thür!

Unerschreckt mach' ich ihm auf;
Himmel, habe Dank:
Ein harmonischer Gesang
War mein Lebenslauf!

Note (provided by Laura Prichard): Haydn had the first two lines of this text engraved on his calling cards. He found this text in a 1778 anthology (Lyrische Blumenlese, Leipzig, 1774-1778).


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 (J. Gompertz) , first published 1814
  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , "The old man", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Le vieillard", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Elena María Accinelli) , "El anciano", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2005-05-15 00:00:00
Last modified: 2020-01-03 16:25:04
Line count: 12
Word count: 47

The old man
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Gone is all my strength!
Old and weak am I;
Only subtly can I be revived by
Lively company and the juice of the grape!

Gone is all my strength!
My ruddy cheeks
Are long gone! Death
Raps at my door!

Fearlessly, I open up;
O Heaven, I’m thankful:
Such a harmonious song
Has been my life!


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2020 by Laura Prichard, (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


Text added to the website: 2020-01-03 00:00:00
Last modified: 2020-01-03 16:25:24
Line count: 12
Word count: 57