by Anna (Nuhn) Ritter (1865 - 1921)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FIN FRE
Wir senkten die Wurzeln in Moos und Gestein,
Wir wiegten die Schultern im rosigen Schein,
Wir tranken die Sonne, den Tau und das Licht,
Wir prangten in Schönheit und wussten es nicht.

Der Lenz strich vorüber und küsste uns leis,
Der Tag ward so still und die Nächte so heiss,
Der Wind sprach von Liebe manch' flüsterndes Wort,
Ein Schritt kam gegangen, ein Arm trug uns fort.

Wer hält unser Leben in zitternder Hand?
Es duftet und rieselt ein weisses Gewand.
Wir sehn eine Brust, die die Sehnsucht erregt,
Wir hören ein Herz, das in Leidenschaft schlägt.

Von Liebe gebrochen, zu Liebe gebracht,
Wir grüssen dich, Schwester, in schweigender Nacht.
Der Tag, der zu holderem Blühen dich ruft,
Er schenkt unsre Schönheit verwelkt in die Gruft.


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) , "Song of the roses", copyright © 2020
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Ruusujen laulu", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Chant des roses", copyright © 2009, (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: 16
Word count: 126

Song of the roses
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
We sank our roots into the moss and rock,
we cradled our shoulders in the rosy glow,
we drank the sunshine, dew, and light,
we were resplendent in beauty and did not know it.

Spring swept past and kissed us gently,
the day became so quiet and the nights so hot,
the wind spoke many whispered words of love,
a footstep came, an arm carried us away.

Who holds our life in her trembling hand?
A fragrant white dress is rippling.
We see a bosom that moves one to yearning,
we hear a heart that beats with passion.

Broken by love, brought for love,
we greet you, sister, in the silent night.
The day that calls you to bloom more gracefully
drops our fading beauty into the grave.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2020 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: 2020-02-18
Line count: 16
Word count: 128