by Nikolaus Lenau (1802 - 1850)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Am Himmelsantlitz wandelt ein Gedanke,
Die düstre Wolke dort, so bang, so schwer;
Wie auf dem Lager sich der Seelenkranke,
Wirft sich der Strauch im Winde hin und her.

Vom Himmel tönt ein schwermutmattes Grollen,
Die dunkle Wimper blinzet manches Mal,
- So blinzen Augen, wenn sie weinen wollen, -
Und aus der Wimper zuckt ein schwacher Strahl.

Nun schleichen aus dem Moore kühle Schauer
Und leise Nebel übers Heideland;
Der Himmel ließ, nachsinnend seiner Trauer,
Die Sonne lässig fallen aus der Hand.


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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

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

  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Heaven's grief", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Tristesse du ciel", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Jakob Kellner

This text was added to the website: 2003-10-13
Line count: 12
Word count: 83

Heaven's grief
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
 Across the face of heaven wanders a thought,
 that dark cloud there, so anxious, so heavy;
 like a man sick to his soul in his bed,
 the bushes whip back and forth in the wind.

 From the sky comes a melancholy and languid rumbling,
 the dark eye blinks many times,
 (thus do eyes blink when they wish to weep)
 and from the eyelid twitches a faint beam.

 Now cool showers creep up from the moors,
 and mists come quietly over the heathlands;
 heaven dwells on its sadness;
 and lets the sun drop from its hand.


  • 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: 2003-10-13
Line count: 12
Word count: 96