by Christian Reinhold (1813 - 1856)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

An dies Schifflein schmiege
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG FRE
  [An]1 dies Schifflein schmiege,
Holder See, dich sacht!
Frommer Liebe Wiege,
Nimm sie wohl in Acht!
  Deine Wellen rauschen;
Rede nicht so laut!
Laß mich ihr nur lauschen,
Die mir viel vertraut!
  Deine Wellen leuchten,
Spiegeln uns zurück
Tausendfach die feuchten
Augen voller Glück!
  Deine Wellen zittern
[Von]2 der Sonne Glut;
Ob [sie's]3 heimlich wittern,
Wie die Liebe tut?
  Weit und weiter immer
Rück den Strand hinaus!
Aus dem Himmel nimmer
Laß uns steigen aus!
  Fern von Menschenreden
Und von Menschensinn,
Als ein schwimmend Eden
Trag dies Schifflein hin!

J. Brahms sets stanzas 1-2, 4-6

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von C. Reinhold, Stuttgart: C. Mäcken, Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1853, pages 41-42

1 Lang: "Um". Lang was working a text that Köstlin had copied out for her (Christian Reinhold Köstlin’s poetry manuscripts, Cod.hist. 4º 437, Fasz. 10a Nr. 1, poem [23], Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Stuttgart, Germany); in that copy the poem began with "Um."
2 Lang: "Vor" (again, this matches the source she was using)
3 Lang: "sie" (again, this matches the source she was using)


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , title 1: "Nestle up to this little boat", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Sur le lac", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , title 1: "Op het meer (Kabbel langs dit scheepje)", copyright © 2014, (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 between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 90

Nestle up to this little boat
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Nestle up to this little boat,
lovely lake, gently!
Cradle of holy love,
Take good care of it!

Your waves are roaring;
do not speak so loudly!
Just let me listen to her,
who is confiding so much to me!

Your waves sparkle,
reflecting back at us
a thousand moist
eyes full of happiness! 

Your waves tremble
from the heat of the sun,
could it be they secretly sense 
how love works?

Farther and farther,
draw us away from the shore!
From this heaven
never let me descend!

Far from human speech
and human thoughts,
like a floating Eden,
carry this little boat away!


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 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 between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 104