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by Paul Heyse (1830 - 1914)
Translation © by Lawrence Snyder, Rebecca Plack

Herr, was trägt der Boden hier
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the Spanish (Español) 
Available translation(s): CAT ENG FRE
Herr, was trägt der Boden hier,
Den du tränkst so bitterlich?
»Dornen, liebes Herz, für mich,
Und für dich der Blumen Zier.«

Ach, wo solche Bäche rinnen,
Wird ein Garten da gedeihn?
»Ja, und wisse! Kränzelein,
Gar verschiedne, flicht man drinnen.«

O mein Herr, zu wessen Zier
Windet man die Kränze? sprich!
»Die von Dornen sind für mich,
Die von Blumen reich ich dir.«

About the headline (FAQ)


Based on:

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) , "Senyor, què produeix aquí el terreny", copyright © 2021, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Lawrence Snyder) (Rebecca Plack) , "Lord, what does this ground bear", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2003-11-08
Line count: 12
Word count: 64

Lord, what does this ground bear
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Lord, what does this ground bear,
Which you moisten so bitterly?
Thorns, dear heart, for me,
And for you fair flowers."

Ah, where such brooks run,
Can a garden there thrive?
Yes, and know this! A variety
of garlands will one weave there!"

Oh, my Lord, for whose adornment
Are these garlands wound? Speak!
Those of thorns are for me,
Those of flowers I offer you."


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Lawrence Snyder and Rebecca Plack, (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:

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2003-11-08
Line count: 12
Word count: 66