by Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

Ein Fichtenbaum steht einsam
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG ENG FRE ITA
Ein [Fichtenbaum]1 steht einsam
Im Norden auf kahler Höh';
Ihn schläfert; mit weißer Decke
Umhüllen ihn Eis und Schnee.

Er träumt von einer Palme,
Die fern im Morgenland,
Einsam und [schweigend]2 trauert
Auf brennender Felsenwand.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Heinrich Heine, Buch der Lieder, Hoffmann und Campe, Hamburg, 1827, page 137.

1 Biegeleben: "Tannenbaum"; further changes may exist not shown above.
2 Marx: "schweigsam"


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in English, a translation by James Thomson (1834 - 1882) , "Ein Fichtenbaum steht einsam", appears in Poems Selected from Heinrich Heine, ed. by Kate Freiligrath Kroeker, London: Walter Scott, Limited, page 67, first published 1887 ; composed by Frances Allitsen, née Bumpus, John Joseph Becker.
  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by Gérard Labrunie (1808 - 1855) , no title, appears in Intermezzo lyrique, no. 28 ; composed by Maurice Delage.
  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by G. Jorissenne ; composed by Nikolay Aleksandrovich Sokolov.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Hans Schmidt (1854 - 1923) ; composed by Nikolay Aleksandrovich Sokolov.
  • Also set in Norwegian (Bokmål), a translation by John Olaf Paulsen (1851 - 1924) , "På Norges nøgne fjelde" ; composed by Edvard Grieg.
  • Also set in Norwegian (Bokmål), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Iver Holter.
  • Also set in Russian (Русский), a translation by Mikhail Yur'yevich Lermontov (1814 - 1841) , "Сосна", written 1841 ; composed by Grigory Alekseyevich Alchevsky, Dimitri Ignatevich Arakishvili, Aleksandr Andreyevich Arkhangelsky, Boris Vladimirovich Asafiev, Mily Alexeyevich Balakirev, Valerian Mikhailovich Bogdanov-Berezovsky, Aleksandr Adolfovich Borkhman, Nikolay Petrovich Bryansky, Sergey Illiarionovich Bulatov, Georgy Zakharovich Burshtein, Aleksandr Sergeyevich Dargomyzhsky, Karl Yulyevich Davidov, Anton Antonovich Derfeldt, Erazm Rafal Dłuski, Nikolay Dmitrevich Dmitriev, Aleksandr Fyodorovich Gedike, Aleksandr Borisovich Goldenveizer, Mark Veniaminovich Karminsky, Pavel Aleksandrovich Kavelin, Raphael von Koeber, as Рафаэль фон Кёбер, Alexander Aleksandrovich Kopylov, Dmitry Gavrilovich Kornilov, Sergei Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov, Vladimir Ivanovich Rebikov, Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov, Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov, Yury Pavlovich Yefimov, Nina Zavarskaya, Vladimir Aleksandrovich Ziring.
  • Also set in Russian (Русский), a translation by Mikhail Larionovich Mikhailov (1829 - 1865) , no title, written 1845/56 ; composed by Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolay Aleksandrovich Sokolov.
  • Also set in Russian (Русский), a translation by Aleksei Ivanovich Mashistov ; composed by Nikolai Karlovich Medtner.
  • Also set in Russian (Русский), a translation by Afanasy Afanas'yevich Fet (1820 - 1892) , no title ; composed by Eduard Frantsevich Nápravník.
  • Also set in Ukrainian (Українська), a translation by Maksim Antonivich Slavinsky (1868? - 1945?) ; composed by Mykola Vitaliyovych Lysenko.

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Pierre Mathé [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 8
Word count: 35

A fir‑tree standing lonesome
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
A fir-tree standing lonesome 
on barren and northern heights
feels drowsy; an  all-white blanket
coats it with snow and ice.

It's dreaming of a palm tree
- far in an eastward place -
that mourns alone in silence
on a scorching mountain's face.


  • Singable 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: 2005-03-12
Line count: 8
Word count: 43