by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Der Abschied
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Laß mein Aug' den Abschied sagen,
Den mein Mund nicht nehmen kann!
Schwer, wie schwer ist er zu tragen!
Und ich bin doch sonst ein Mann.

Traurig wird in dieser Stunde
Selbst der Liebe süßtes Pfand,
Kalt der Kuß von deinem Munde,
Matt der Druck von deiner Hand.

Sonst, ein leicht gestohlnes Mäulchen,
O, wie hat es mich entzückt!
So erfreuet uns ein Veilchen,
Das man früh im März gepflückt.

Doch ich pflücke nun kein Kränzchen,
Keine Rose mehr für dich.
Frühling ist es, liebes Fränzchen,
Aber leider Herbst für mich!

Confirmed with Goethe's Poems, selected and edited with introduction and notes by Charles Harris, Boston: D.C. Heath & Co, Publishers, 1899, page 4.


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 (Sharon Krebs) , "The farewell", copyright © 2023, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 91

The farewell
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Let my eyes take the farewell
That my lips are unable to take!
Hard, how hard it is to bear!
And I am usually such a [strong] man.

In this hour even the sweetest 
Pledge of love becomes sad,
The kiss of your lips is cold,
The pressure of your hand is feeble.

Formerly, an easily stolen kiss,
Oh, how it enraptured me!
Thus a violet, picked early in March 
Makes us happy.

But I pick no wreaths now,
No more roses for you.
It is springtime, dear Franzi,
But, unfortunately, autumn for me!


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2023 by Sharon Krebs, (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: 2023-01-13
Line count: 16
Word count: 94