by Johann Ludwig Tieck (1773 - 1853)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG ENG FRE
Wie ist es denn, daß trüb und schwer
So alles kömmt, vorüberzieht,
Und wechselnd, quälend, immer leer,
Das arme Herz in sich verglüht?

  Kaum gekommen
  Soll ich scheiden,
  Kaum entglommen
  Löschen wieder
  Alle Freuden,
  Und der Leiden
  Dunkle Wolke senkt sich nieder.

Aus den Lichtern in die Nacht,
Aus den Augen, die mir tagen,
Die mein ganzes Herz durchlacht,
Bin ich wieder allen Plagen,
  Dem dürren Leben
  Zurück gegeben.

[Wie flücht'ge Augenblicke
Mein Glücke!
Wie lange, lange Dauer
Der Trennung, düstre schwere Trauer! -
Zurück zu kehren
Und dich entbehren!]1

O als ich dich noch nicht gesehn,
Da durfte Sehnsucht bei mir seyn,
Ein Hoffnungswind in meinen Wünschen wehn,
Die Zukunft war ein heller Schein: 
Jetzt muß ich vom Erinnern kaufen,
Was ich kaum zerstreut empfand;
Wieder durch die wüsten Haufen,
Durch ein unbewohntes Land,
Soll ich irre, klagend, schweifen,
Und des Glückes goldne Streifen,
Auch die letzten, abgewandt.
Noch fühl' ich deine Hand,
Noch wie im Traume deine Küsse,
Noch folgen mir die holden Blicke,
Und die Emp[findung, daß ich alles misse,
Bleibt bei mir zurücke.

O Hoffen, Schmachten, Liebesleid und Sehnen,
Wie dürst' ich nach den süßen Thränen!
O tröste mich doch, eitles Wähnen,
So leer du bist, so todt, so nichtig!
Verlaßt ihr alle mich so flüchtig?

O Gegenwart, wie bist du schnell!
Vergangenheit, wie bist du klein!
O Zukunft, wie wirst du unendlich seyn?
Unendlich wie am Himmelsbogen
Die Sterne in die ew'gen Räume steigen,
So fühl' ich Stunden, Tage, Monden hergezogen,
Und durch mein tiefstes Seyn das trübe Schweigen,
Um mich ein unvergänglich Meer von schwarzen Wogen,
Und ach! kein grünes Ufer will sich zeigen!]1

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von L. Tieck. Erster Theil. Dresden bei P. G. Hilscher. 1821, pages 141-143; and with Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1802. Herausgegeben von A. W. Schlegel und L. Tieck. Tübingen, in der Cotta'schen Buchhandlung, 1802, pages 113-116.

Note: In the 1802 edition the poem is part of a cycle with the title Der Besuch consisting of four poems: I. Morgen, II. Mittag, III. Abend and IV. Nacht. In the 1821 edition the poems are no longer belonging together.

1 missing in Schubert's sketch


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

  • by Franz Peter Schubert (1797 - 1828), "Abend", D 645 (1819), published 1978 [ voice, piano ], note: fragment of a sketch; vocal line without text (apart from the first five words) and only some hints at the piano accompaniment. The text was adjusted to the vocal line by Dietrich Berke, a piano accompaniment was realized by Mark Brown. [sung text not yet checked]

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Capvespre", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Avond", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Evening", copyright ©
  • ENG English (Uri Liebrecht) , "Evening", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Le soir", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2018-01-02 14:06:34
Line count: 53
Word count: 270

Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Why is it then, that everything is dull and heavy
as it comes and goes,
and that, changeable, tormented and ever empty,
my poor heart is growing cold?

Hardly have I arrived 
than I must go;
hardly have they been kindled than
all joys again
must be extinguished 
and a dark cloud 
of sorrow descend.

From those lights in the darkness,
those eyes that suffuse
my heart with laughter and joy,
I am again pulled back into misery,
to my dreary life
pulled back again. 
What a fleeting moment
is my happiness!
What a long, long time
this dull, heavy sorrow of parting lasts!
How can I turn back
and be deprived of you?

O when I had never yet seen you,
I could live with longing,
for a wind of hope would fan my desires,
and the future was bright:
Now I must buy from my memories
that which I can hardly feel, so sparse it is now;
once again, through the desolate crowd,
through an unknown land,
I must wander lamenting,
as the golden thread of happiness,
the last one, is lost.
I still feel your hand,
as if in a dream; I still feel your kisses,
and you still follow me with a lovely gaze;
and the feeling that all is lost
remins behind with me.

O hope, O languor, o pain of love and longing, 
how I thirst for sweet tears!
O comfort me, vain delusion,
even though you are so empty and dead!
Must you abandon me so quickly?

O Present, how swift you are!
O Past, how small you are!
O Future, how can you be so unending?
Limitless like the arching heavens,
the stars climbing in eternal space;
so I feel each hour and day, as the moons come forth,
and throughout the dull silence of my existence,
about me lies an imperishable ocean of dark waves
and ah! no green bank will show itself!


  • 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


Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:52
Line count: 53
Word count: 322