by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Erschaffen und Beleben
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FIN FRE FRL ITA
Hans Adam war ein Erdenkloß
Den Gott zum Menschen machte,
Doch bracht er aus der Mutter Schoß
Noch vieles Ungeschlachte.

Die Elohim zur Nas hinein
Den besten Geist ihm bliesen,
Nun schien er schon was mehr zu sein,
Denn er fing an zu niesen.

Doch mit Gebien und Glied und Kopf
Blieb er ein halber Klumpen,
Bis endlich Noah für den Tropf
Das Wahre fand, den Humpen.

Der Klumpe fühlt sogleich den Schwung,
Sobald er sich benetzet,
So wie der Teig durch Säuerung
Sich in Bewegung setzet.

So, Hafis, mag dein holder Sang,
Dein heiliges Exempel
Uns führen, bei der Gläser Klang,
Zu unsres Schöpfers Tempel.


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) , "Crear i donar vida", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Scheppen en bezielen", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "Creation and animation", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Luominen ja elämän eväät", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Création et animation", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRL Friulian (Ermes Culos) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Creare e dare vita", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 20
Word count: 106

Creation and animation
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Adam the lad was a lump of earth
that God made into a man,
but when he emerged from his mother's womb
a lot was still not finished off.

God took his nose and into it
he blew the best spirit,
but it soon became apparent there was more to do
because he started to sneeze.

With these bones and limbs and head
he remained only half a lump,
until eventually Noah, to complete the oaf,
found the right thing - a bottle.

The lump immediately felt the uplifting effect
as soon as he encountered this liquid,
it was just like dough when yeast
sets it in motion.

So, Hafiz, may your noble song,
your holy example,
Lead us, through the clinking of glasses
to our creator's temple.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2006 by Malcolm Wren, (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: 2006-03-01
Line count: 20
Word count: 128