by Peter Cornelius (1824 - 1874)
Translation © by James B. Robinson

Vergieb uns unsre Schuld
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG ENG
Nachts, wenn sich Sturmwind wild erhebt
Und Reue Dir im Innern wacht,
Dann bebt Dein Herz in dunkler Nacht
So schmerzlich wie's noch nie gebebt,
Du ringst, in tiefster Brust verzagt
Umsonst nach Trost, umsonst nach Licht,
Weil durch den Sturm, noch lauter spricht
Dein eigen Herz, das dich verklagt;
Doch ob der Sturm auch schweigen mag
Und laue Luft Dich lind umspült,
Wenn tiefe Reu die Seele fühlt,
Bebt sie im Sturm [am ruh'gen]1 Tag.
Dann preisen Vöglein Gottes Huld
Und singen hell zu ihm empor,
Dir aber dröhnt ihr Sang in's Ohr
Wie herbe Klag' um Deine Schuld.

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von Peter Cornelius, eingeleitet von Adolf Stern, Leipzig, C. F. Kahnt Nachfolger, 1890, page 124.

1 Cornelius: "an ruh'gem" (song)


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):

  • ENG English (John H. Campbell) , "Forgive us our sins", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English [singable] (James B. Robinson) , "Forgive us our trespasses", copyright © 2006, (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: 16
Word count: 100

Forgive us our trespasses
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Night when the storm winds wildly roar
And deep remorse within thee wakes,
Trembles thy heart in deepest depths
As painfully it ere has quaked.

Despair doth fill thy deepest breast,
No comfort findest thee, nor light,
While loudly through the storm swept night,
Thy heart doth call in vain for rest.

Then though the storm winds die away
And placid waves about thee roll,
When deepest guilt thy soul doth feel,
Stormy still feels the tranquil day.

Then while the birds may sing God's grace
And voice their songs to Him on high,
Thy song still drones up on the ear
With harsh notes that reveal thy guilt.


  • Singable translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2006 by James B. Robinson, (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: 2006-06-10
Line count: 16
Word count: 109