by August Heinrich Julius Lafontaine (1758 - 1831) and sometimes misattributed to Johann Baptist Mayrhofer (1787 - 1836)
Translation © by T. P. (Peter) Perrin

So wird der Mann, der sonder Zwang
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the Greek (Ελληνικά) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
So wird der Mann, der sonder Zwang
Gerecht ist, nicht unglücklich seyn;
Versinken ganz in Elend kann er nimmer,
Indeß der frevelnde Verbrecher
Im [Strom]1 der Zeit gewaltsam [untersinkt]2,
Wenn am zerschmetterten Maste
Das Wetter die Segel ergreift.

Er ruft von keinem Ohr vernommen,
Kämpft in des Strudels Mitte hoffnungslos.
Des Frevlers lacht die Gottheit [jetzt]3,
Sieht ihn, nun nicht mehr stolz, in Banden
Der Noth verstrickt, umsonst die Felsbank fliehn;
An der Vergeltung Fels scheitert sein Glück
Und unbeweint versinkt er.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Eugenie, der Sieg über die Liebe. von August Lafontaine. Dritter Band. Wien, 1814. In der Franz Haas'schen Buchhandlung, page 25.

1 Schubert: "Strome"
2 Schubert (second version): "untergeht"
3 Schubert (second version): "nun"


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) , "Fragment d’Èsquil", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Fragment uit Aischylos", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (T. P. (Peter) Perrin) , "Fragment from Aeschylus", copyright © 2003, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Fragment d'Eschyle", copyright © 2010, (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: 2003-11-05
Line count: 14
Word count: 82

Fragment from Aeschylus
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
The man who rightly acts without coercion
Will not be grieved, 
can never wholly sink in wretchedness;
While the lawless criminal 
is forcibly dragged under
In the current of time when from the shattered mast
The elements rip down his sails.

He shouts, there is no ear to hear him
Struggling, hopeless, at the maelstrom's center.
Gods laugh at the transgressor now,
Watching him, his pride now wrecked,
Caught in desperation's shackles.
He flees the rocks in vain;
His fortunes smash on retribution's reef
And, unmourned, he is engulfed.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2003 by T. P. (Peter) Perrin, (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 onBased on


This text was added to the website: 2004-02-28
Line count: 15
Word count: 89