by Friedrich von Schiller (1759 - 1805)
Translation © by Linda Godry

Hymne an den Unendlichen
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Zwischen Himmel und Erd', hoch in der Lüfte Meer,
In der Wiege des Sturms trägt mich ein Zakenfels,
    Wolken thürmen
    Unter mir sich zu Stürmen,
Schwindelnd gaukelt der [Blick]1 umher
  Und ich denke dich, Ewiger.

Deinen schauernden Pomp borge dem Endlichen,
Ungeheure Natur! Du der Unendlichkeit
    Sey mir Spiegel Jehovahs!
Seinen Gott [dem]2 [vernünftigen]3 Wurm
  Orgle prächtig, Gewittersturm!

Horch! er orgelt - Den Fels wie er herunterdrönt!
Brüllend spricht der Orkan Zebaoths Nahmen aus.
    Mit dem Griffel des Blitzes:
Kreaturen, erkennt ihr mich?
  Schone, Herr! wir erkennen dich.

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Friedrich Schillers sämmtliche Werke. Zehnter Band. Enthält: Gedichte. Zweyter Theil. Wien, 1810. In Commission bey Anton Doll, page 231.

First published in Anthologie auf das Jahr 1782, anonymously edited by Schiller with the fake publishing information "Gedrukt in der Buchdrukerei zu Tobolsko", actually published by Johann Benedict Metzler in Stuttgart. This poem (pages 126-127) has "Y." as the author's name.

1 Schubert (Alte Gesamtausgabe): "Blitz"
2 Schiller (Doll, 1816 edition, and early specimens of 1810 edition) "den"
3 Anthologie 1782, and Schubert: "vernünftgen"


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) , "Himne a l’Infinit", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Hymne voor de Oneindige", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Linda Godry) , "Hymn to the eternal", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Hymne à l'infini", copyright © 2011, (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 between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 18
Word count: 90

Hymn to the eternal
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Between heaven and earth high up in the airy sea,
Right in the nucleus of the storm a rocky ridge supports me;
Below me clouds 
pile high 
to thunderstorms,
And I imagine you, eternal!

Your horrific pomp lends to the earthly, [those of finite nature]
Immense nature! 
You, eternity's giant daughter!
Represent for me the mirror image of Jehova!
His god to the reasoning worm,
Roar magnificently, thunderstorm!

Hark! He roars; down from the rocky ridge!
Blasting out Zebaoth's name,
with a lightning stylus:
Creatures, do you recognize me?
Have mercy, Lord! We recognize you!


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2005 by Linda Godry, (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:


This text was added to the website: 2005-09-09
Line count: 18
Word count: 96