by Johann Heinrich Voss (1751 - 1826)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

An die Nachtigall
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Geuß nicht so laut der liebentflammten Lieder
Tonreichen Schall
Vom Blütenast des Apfelbaums hernieder,
O Nachtigall.
Du tönest mir mit deiner süssen Kehle
Die Liebe wach;
Denn schon durchbebt die Tiefen meiner Seele
Dein schmelzend Ach.

Dann flieht der Schlaf von neuem dieses Lager,
Ich starre dann,
Mit nassem Blick, und todtenbleich und hager,
Den Himmel an.
Fleuch, Nachtigall, in grüne Finsternisse,
Ins Haingesträuch,
Und spend' im Nest der treuen Gattin Küsse;
Entfleuch, entfleuch!

Confirmed with Gedichte von Ludewig Heinrich Christoph Hölty. Besorgt durch seine Freunde Friederich Leopold Grafen zu Stolberg und Johann Heinrich Voß. Hamburg, bei Carl Ernst Bohn. 1783, page 157.

This poem makes use of some verses of Hölty's unfinished poem "An eine Nachtigall, die vor meinem Kammerfenster sang" and was included by Voß in his editions of Hölty's poems (see below).


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) , "Al rossinyol", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Aan de nachtegaal", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "To the nightingale", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2003-11-13
Line count: 16
Word count: 74

To the nightingale
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
 Do not pour forth your love-enflamed songs'
 Tuneful sounds so loudly,
 Down from the blossoming branch of the apple tree,
 O Nightingale!

 With your sweet throat, you call me and
 Awaken Love within me;
 For already the depths of my soul are stirred
 By your melting cry.

 Sleep flees once more from this place,
 I stare then
 With a tearful gaze, deathly pale and haggard,
 At the sky.

 Fly, nightingale, off into the green darkness,
 Into the bushy grove.
 And shower kisses on your faithful mate in your nest,
 Fly off, fly off!


  • 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:

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2003-11-13
Line count: 16
Word count: 94