by Friedrich von Schiller (1759 - 1805)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Vier Elemente
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Vier Elemente
  Innig gesellt
Bilden das Leben, 
  Bauen die Welt.

Preßt der Citrone
  Saftigen Stern,
Herb ist des Lebens
  Innerster Kern.

Jetzt mit des Zuckers
  Linderndem Saft
Zähmet die herbe
  Brennende Kraft.

Gießet des Wassers
  Sprudelnden Schwall,
Wasser umfänget
  Ruhig das All.

Tropfen des Geistes
  Gießet hinein,
Leben dem Leben
  Gibt er allein.

Eh es verdüftet
  Schöpfet es schnell,
Nur wenn er glühet,
  Labet der Quell.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Gedichte von Friederich Schiller, Zweiter Theil, Zweite, verbesserte und vermehrte Auflage, Leipzig, 1805, bei Siegfried Lebrecht Crusius, pages 239-240.


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) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Punchlied", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Punch song", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Le Lied du punch", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 66

Punch song
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Four elements, 
intimately linked,
Form life 
and build the world.

Press the lemon's 
juicy star!
Bitter is Life's 
innermost kernel.

Now with sugar's 
sweetening juice,
Tame its sharp,
burning power.

Pour the water's
sparkling torrent!
Water quietly 
envelops All.

Drip in 
the spilling spirits!
For they alone 
give life to Life.

Before its flavor fades,
quaff it quickly!
The stream refreshes 
only when it glows.


  • 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: 65