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by Ludwig Heinrich Christoph Hölty (1748 - 1776) and by Johann Heinrich Voss (1751 - 1826)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Die Schale der Vergessenheit
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Eine Schale des Stroms, welcher Vergessenheit
Durch Elysiums Blumen rollt,
Bring, o Genius, bring deinem Verschmachtenden!
Dort, wo Phaon die Sängerin,
Dort, wo Orpheus vergaß seiner Eurydike,
Schöpf den silbernen Schlummerquell!

Ha! Dann tauch' ich dein Bild, spröde Gebieterin,
Und die [lächelnde Lippe]1 voll
Lautenklanges, des Haars schattige Wallungen,
Und das Beben der weißen Brust,
Und den siegenden Blick, der mir im Marke zuckt,
Tauch' ich tief in den Schlummerquell.

View original text (without footnotes)

Note: Hölty's original text is from 1776 (not published); the text of this song is the version revised by Voss.

1 Bachmann: "lächelnden Lippen"


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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "El calze de l’oblit", copyright © 2022, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "De beker der vergetelheid", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "The cup of oblivion", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "La coupe d'oubli", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2003-11-04
Line count: 12
Word count: 70

The cup of oblivion
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
A goblet of the river Lethe which spreads oblivion
Through the flowers of Elysium,
O spirit, bring one to your thirsting servant! 
There, where Phaon forgot the singer Sappho,
There, where Orpheus forgot his Eurydice,
Ladle up the silver sleeping potion!

Ha! For there will I plunge your image, brittle, imperious one;
And your smiling lips full of 
Lute-music, your hair's shadowy waves,
The shaking of your white breast,
And that victorious gaze which pierces me through;
I will plunge all of them deep into oblivion.


  • 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: 2003-11-04
Line count: 12
Word count: 86