by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Schau, unsre Tage sind so eng
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Schau, unsre Tage sind so eng
und bang das Nachtgemach; 
wir langen alle ungelenk 
den roten Rosen nach.

Du musst uns milde sein, Marie, 
wir blühn aus deinem Blut,
und du allein kannst wissen, wie
so weh die Sehnsucht tut; 

du hast ja dieses Mädchenweh
der Seele selbst erkannt:
sie fühlt sich an wie Weihnachtsschnee,
und steht doch ganz in Brand . . .

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Rainer Maria Rilke, Werke, kommentierte Ausgabe in vier Bänden, Band 1 Gedichte 1895 bis 1910, herausgegeben von Manfred Engel und Ulrich Fülleborn, Frankfurt am Main und Leipzig: Insel Verlag, 1996, pages 95-96.


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):

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "Song to the Virgin Mary", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2019-05-10
Line count: 12
Word count: 64

Song to the Virgin Mary
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
See, our days are so tightly circumscribed,
and anxious is our night chamber;
awkwardly we all reach
for the red roses.

Thou must be gentle with us, Mary,
we bloom forth from Thy blood,
and only Thou canst know
how very painful yearning is;

for you yourself knew
this maidenly pain of the soul:
[the soul] feels like the snow of Christmas,
and yet it is completely in flames . . .


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2020 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: 2020-11-01
Line count: 12
Word count: 72