Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

An einen Säugling
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG FRE
Noch weißt du nicht wes Kind du bist,
Wer dir die Windeln schenket,
Wer um dich wacht, und wer sie ist,
Die dich erwärmt und tränket.

Geneuß indes mit frommem Sinn,
Geneuß! Nach wenig Jahren
Wird sich in deiner Pflegerin
Die Mutter offenbaren.

So hegt und pflegt uns alle hier,
Auf gleich verborgne Weise,
Ein Geber, Dank sei ihm dafür!
Mit Gütern, Trank und Speise.

Zwar faßt ihn nicht mein dunkler Sinn,
Allein nach wenig Jahren,
Wird wenn ich fromm und gläubig bin,
Er mir sich offenbaren.


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , title 1: "Aan een zuigeling", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "To an infant", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "À un nourrisson", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Pilar Lirio

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 87

To an infant
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
You still don't know whose child you are,
who gives the swaddling clothes to you,
who keeps watch by your bedside, and who she is,
that keeps you warm and nurses you.

Enjoy meanwhile with a childlike mind,
enjoy! Few years later
your nurse will reveal herself
as your mother.

Thus all of us are cared and attended on
in a mysterious way
by a giver - thanks be to him! -
with goods, drink and food.

Admittedly, my mind, still dark, doesn't grasp him;
few years later, however,
if I am devout and religious,
he will reveal himself to me.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2005 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT)

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Based on


This text was added to the website: 2005-01-12
Line count: 16
Word count: 101