by Friedrich Rückert (1788 - 1866)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Gestern war, und morgen ist nicht
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Gestern war, und morgen ist nicht; 
Ist denn wirklich heute? 
Wird des Augenblickes Frist nicht 
Eines nächsten Beute?  

Laß des Zeitstroms Wogen rollen, 
Die sich selbst verschlingen, 
Was sie wollen, was sie sollen 
Bringen, laß sie bringen. 

Wie die Flut von Gottes Throne 
Braust, die Welt zu tragen, 
Laß dahin dich tragen, ohne 
Klagen, ohne Zagen!  

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Poetisches Tagebuch, von Friedrich Rückert. Aus seinem Nachlasse, Frankfurt: Sauerländer, 1888, page 275.


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 (Sharon Krebs) , "Yesterday was, and tomorrow is not [yet]", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Melanie Trumbull

This text was added to the website: 2016-08-09
Line count: 12
Word count: 56

Yesterday was, and tomorrow is not [yet]
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Yesterday was, and tomorrow is not [yet];
Is today then a reality?
Does not the span of a moment
Become the prey of the next one?

Let the waves of the River Time roll,
[The waves] that consume themselves,
What they want to, what they must
Bring, let them bring.

As the flood from the throne of God
Rushes so as to carry the world,
Let yourself be borne away, without
Complaints, without hesitation!


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2020 by Sharon Krebs, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2020-06-12
Line count: 12
Word count: 74