by Christoph August Tiedge (1752 - 1841)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Ob ein Gott sei? Ob er einst erfülle
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG FRE
Ob ein Gott sei? Ob er einst erfülle,
Was die Sehnsucht weinend sich verspricht?
Ob, vor irgendeinem Weltgericht,
Sich dies rätselhafte Sein enthülle?
Hoffen soll der Mensch! Er frage nicht!

Die du so gern in heil'gen Nächten feierst
Und sanft und weich den Gram verschleierst,
Der eine zarte Seele quält,
O Hoffnung! Laß, durch dich empor gehoben,
Den Dulder ahnen, daß dort oben
Ein Engel seine Tränen zählt!

Wenn, längst verhallt, geliebte Stimmen schweigen;
Wenn unter ausgestorb'nen Zweigen
Verödet die Erinn'rung sitzt:
Dann nahe dich, wo dein Verlaßner trauert 
Und, von der Mitternacht umschauert,
Sich auf versunk'ne Urnen stützt.

Und blickt er auf, das Schicksal anzuklagen,
Wenn scheidend über seinen Tagen
Die letzten Strahlen untergehn:
Dann laß' ihn um den Rand des Erdentraumes
Das Leuchten eines Wolkensaumes
Von einer nahen Sonne seh'n!

L. Beethoven sets stanzas 2-4 in (at least) one setting - see below for more information
L. Beethoven sets stanzas 1-4, 2 in (at least) one setting - see below for more information
F. Himmel sets stanzas 2-4

About the headline (FAQ)

Authorship

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: "To Hope", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "À l'espérance", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , title 1: "Aan de hoop", copyright © 2014, (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: 23
Word count: 132

To Hope
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Is there a God? Will he someday fulfill 
The promises for which longing cries out? 
Will, before the court of the world,
This puzzle ever reveal itself?
Man must hope. He does not ask!

You, who so gladly celebrates on sacred nights
And gently and softly veils the grief
That torments a tender soul,
O Hope! Raised through you,
Let the sufferer feel that there above,
An angel counts his tears!

When, long hushed, beloved voices are silenced,
When, underneath dead branches
Memory sits desolate,
Then come closer to where your forsaken one mourns
And, looking around at midnight,
Supports himself against sunken urns.

And if he looks up to accuse Fate,
When, departing with his days,
The last rays set:
Then permit him to see, at the rim of this earthly dream,
The light of the cloud's hem
From the near-by sun!

Authorship

  • 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 -- https://www.lieder.net/

    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: 23
Word count: 143