by Matthias Claudius (1740 - 1815)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann, Walter A. Aue

Der Mond ist aufgegangen
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG ENG FRE ITA
Der Mond ist aufgegangen,
[Die goldnen Sternlein prangen]1
  Am Himmel hell und klar.
Der Wald steht schwarz und schweiget,
Und aus den Wiesen steiget
  Der weisse Nebel wunderbar.

Wie ist die Welt so stille,
Und in der Dämmrung Hülle
  So traulich und so hold!
Als eine stille Kammer,
Wo ihr des Tages Jammer
  Verschlafen und vergessen sollt.

Seht ihr den Mond dort stehen? -
Er ist nur halb zu sehen,
  Und ist doch rund und schön!
So sind wohl manche Sachen,
Die wir getrost belachen,
  Weil unsre Augen sie nicht sehn.

Wir stolze Menschenkinder
Sind eitel arme Sünder,
  Und wissen gar nicht viel.
Wir spinnen Luftgespinnste
Und suchen viele Künste,
  Und kommen weiter von dem Ziel.

Gott, laß [uns dein Heil]2 schauen,
Auf nichts Vergänglichs trauen,
  Nicht Eitelkeit uns freun!
Laß uns einfältig werden,
Und vor dir hier auf Erden
  Wie Kinder fromm und fröhlich seyn!

            *  *  *

Wollst endlich sonder Grämen
Aus dieser Welt uns nehmen
  Durch einen sanften Tod!
Und, wenn du uns genommen,
Laß uns [im]3 Himmel kommen,
  Du [unser Herr und unser]4 Gott!

So legt euch denn, ihr Brüder,
In Gottes Namen nieder;
  Kalt ist der Abendhauch.
Verschon' uns, Gott! mit Strafen,
Und laß uns ruhig schlafen!
  Und unsern kranken Nachbar auch!

F. Schubert sets stanzas 1-5
P. Geisler sets stanzas 1-2, 5
F. Gernsheim sets stanzas 1-5

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with ASMUS omnia sua SECUM portans, oder Sämmtliche Werke des Wandsbecker Bothen, IV. Theil. Beym Verfasser, und in Commißion bey Friedrich Perthes in Hamburg. [1782], pages 91-92; with Poetische Blumenlese für das Jahr 1779. Herausgegeben von Joh. Heinr. Voß. Hamburg, bei Carl Ernst Bohn, pages 184-186; and with Johann Gottfried Herder's Volkslieder. Nebst untermischten andern Stücken. Zweyter Theil. Leipzig, in der Weygandschen Buchhandlung, 1779, pages 297-298.

Note: Herder's Volkslieder prints only the first five stanzas, and Claudius (in his ASMUS complete edition) separates the first five stanzas with three asterisks from the remaining two.

1 This line is a quotation from Paul Gerhardt's 'Nun ruhen alle Wälder' (a text in the same verse form used by Claudius here)
2 Geisler, Gernsheim, Schubert: "dein Heil uns"
3 Claudius (Musenalmanach), Geisler, Gernsheim: "in"
4 Claudius (Musenalmanach): "lieber treuer frommer"

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Avondlied", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Evening Song", copyright ©
  • ENG English (Bertram Kottmann) (Walter A. Aue) , "Evening song", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Chant du soir", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Canto della sera", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2018-02-15 02:53:05
Line count: 43
Word count: 207

Evening song
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
The moon has been arising,
the stars in golden guising
adorn the heavens bright.
The woods stand still in shadows,
and from the meads and meadows
lift whitish mists into the night.

The world in stillness clouded
and soft in twilight shrouded,
so peaceful and so fair.
Just like a chamber waiting,
where you can rest abating
the daytime's mis'ry and despair.

Behold the moon - and wonder
why half of her stands yonder,
yet she is round and fair.
We follow empty visions
and artisans' ambitions
because our minds are unaware.

We vain and wretched sinners
presume to be the winners,
but we know nothing yet.
So many neat solutions
are nought but great delusions
that farther off the path us get.

God, grant us Thy salvation!
No worldly aspiration,
no vanity allow!
Like children simple-hearted,
and joyful like we started,
let us become and teach us how!

And lastly, grant us leaving
the world without much grieving,
let peaceful be our death.
When from the earth You take us,
let heaven's joy await us:
stand by us, Lord, at our last breath.

So, brothers, in His keeping
prepare yourself for sleeping;
cold is the evening breeze.
Spare us, oh Lord, Your ire,
let rest us by the fire,
and grant our ailing neighbour peace.

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2006 by Bertram Kottmann and Walter A. Aue, (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.

    Walter A. Aue.  Contact: waue (AT) dal (DOT) ca

    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:

Based on

 

Text added to the website: 2006-11-19 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:19
Line count: 42
Word count: 216