by Gustav Mahler (1860 - 1911)
Translation © by Amelia Maria Imbarrato

Ich hab' ein glühend Messer
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT ENG FIN FRE ITA POR SPA
Ich hab' ein glühend Messer,
Ein Messer in meiner Brust,
O weh! Das schneid't so tief
In jede Freud' und jede Lust.
Ach, was ist das für ein böser Gast!
Nimmer hält er Ruh', nimmer hält er Rast,
Nicht bei Tag, noch bei Nacht, wenn ich schlief.
O Weh!

Wenn ich in dem Himmel seh',
Seh' ich zwei blaue Augen stehn.
O Weh! Wenn ich im gelben Felde geh',
Seh' ich von fern das blonde Haar
Im Winde wehn.
O Weh!

Wenn ich aus dem Traum auffahr'
Und höre klingen ihr silbern' Lachen,
O Weh!
Ich wollt', ich läg auf der schwarzen Bahr',
Könnt' nimmer die Augen aufmachen!


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) , "Tinc una daga candent", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "I have a red-hot knife", copyright ©
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Amelia Maria Imbarrato) , "Ho un coltello incandescente", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • POR Portuguese (Português) (Paulo Albuquerque de Noronha) , "Eu tenho uma faca incandescente", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Elena María Accinelli) , copyright © 2005, (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: 19
Word count: 108

Ho un coltello incandescente
Language: Italian (Italiano)  after the German (Deutsch) 
Ho un coltello incandescente, 
un coltello nel petto.
Ahimè! Ahimè! Ferisce profondo ogni gioia, 
ogni piacere!
Ahi, che ospite malvagio!
Non ha mai pace, non ha mai tregua,
né il giorno, né la notte quando dormo!
Ahimè! Ahimè!

Quando guardo il cielo,
vi vedo due occhi azzurri!
Ahimè! Ahimè! Quando vado per i campi dorati,
vedo da lontano la chioma bionda che ondeggia 
al vento!
Ahimè! Ahimè!

Quando vengo fuori dal sogno
e sento il suono del suo riso argentino,
ahimè! Ahimè!
vorrei giacere nella nera bara,
e non potere più aprire gli occhi!


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to Italian (Italiano) copyright © 2006 by Amelia Maria Imbarrato, (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.

    Amelia Maria Imbarrato. We have no current contact information for the copyright-holder.
    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2006-06-09
Line count: 19
Word count: 94