Attention! Some of this material is not in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission. It is also illegal to reprint copyright texts or translations without the name of the author or translator.
To inquire about permissions and rates, contact Emily Ezust at
If you wish to reprint translations, please make sure you include the names of the translators in your email. They are below each translation.
Note: You must use the copyright symbol © when you reprint copyright-protected material.
Nicht Gelegenheit macht Diebe, Sie ist selbst der größte Dieb; Denn sie stahl den Rest der Liebe, Die mir noch im Herzen blieb. Dir hat sie ihn übergeben, Meines Lebens Vollgewinn, Daß ich nun, verarmt, mein Leben Nur von dir gewärtig bin. Doch ich fühle schon Erbarmen Im Karfunkel deines Blicks, Und erfreu in deinen Armen Mich erneuerten Geschicks.
About the headline (FAQ)
- by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832), no title, appears in West-östlicher Divan, in 8. Buch Suleika -- Suleika Nameh [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by (Franz) Carl Adalbert Eberwein (1786 - 1868), "Hatem" [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
- by Hugo Wolf (1860 - 1903), "Nicht Gelegenheit macht Diebe", published 1891 [voice and piano], from Goethe-Lieder, no. 39, Mainz, Schott [ sung text checked 1 time]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "It isn't opportunity that makes a thief", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Non è l'occasione a fare il ladro", copyright © 2012, (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: 12
Word count: 59
It isn't opportunity that makes a thief: opportunity itself is the greatest thief. For it stole the rest of the love that remained in my heart. It has handed it over to you, all the profit of my love, so I now, impoverished, find that my life depends totally on you. But at least I find comfort in the jewel that is your eye, And in your arms I enjoy a renewed fortune.
- 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.
- a text in German (Deutsch) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832), no title, appears in West-östlicher Divan, in 8. Buch Suleika -- Suleika Nameh
This text was added to the website: 2006-03-01
Line count: 12
Word count: 73