Translation © by Emily Ezust

Des Abends kann ich nicht schlafen gehn
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG FRE
 Des Abends kann ich nicht schlafen gehn,
 Zu meiner Herzliebsten muß ich gehn,
 Zu meiner Herzliebsten muß ich gehn,
 Und sollt' ich an der Tür bleiben stehn,
 Ganz heimelig!

 »Wer ist denn da? Wer klopfet an,
 Der mich so leis aufwecken kann?«
 Das ist der Herzallerliebste dein,
 Steh auf, mein Schatz, und laß mich ein,
 Ganz heimelig!

 Wenn alle Sterne Schreiber gut,
 Und alle Wolken Papier dazu,
 So sollten sie schreiben der Lieben mein,
 Sie brächten die Lieb' in den Brief nicht ein,
 Ganz heimelig!

 Ach, hätt' ich Federn wie ein Hahn
 Und könnt' ich schwimmen wie ein Schwan,
 So wollt' ich schwimmen wohl über den Rhein,
 Hin zu der Herzallerliebsten mein,
 Ganz heimelig!

About the headline (FAQ)


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: "At evening, I cannot sleep", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , copyright © 2015, (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: 20
Word count: 115

At evening, I cannot sleep
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
At evening, I cannot sleep,
To my sweetheart must I go,
To my sweetheart I must go,
And I must stand at her door,
Quite secretly!

"Who's there, then? Who is knocking,
Who can awaken me so gently?"
It is your sweetheart,
Get up, my treasure, and let me in,
Quite secretly!

If all the stars were good scribes,
And all the clouds were made of paper,
And they were to write to my love,
They could not summarize my love in one letter,
Quite secretly!

Ah, had I feathers like a rooster,
And could swim as does a swan,
Then I would swimm across the Rhine
To see my heart's beloved,
Quite secretly!


  • 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: 20
Word count: 114