by Nikolaus Lenau (1802 - 1850)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Die dunklen Wolken hingen
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Die [dunklen]1 Wolken hingen
Herab so bang und schwer,
Wir beide traurig gingen
Im Garten hin und her.

So [heiß und]2 stumm, so trübe
[Und]3 sternlos war die Nacht,
So ganz, wie unsre Liebe,
Zu Tränen nur gemacht.

Und als ich mußte scheiden
Und gute Nacht dir bot,
Wünscht' ich bekümmert beiden
Im Herzen uns den Tod.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von Nicolaus Lenau, Stuttgart, Karl Göpel's Verlag, Cotta'scher Druck, 1869, page 182.

1 Bolko von Hochberg, Rübner: "dunkeln"; Horn: "trüben"; Schleuning: "schweren"; further changes may exist not shown above.
2 Bolko von Hochberg: "heiß, so"
3 Bolko von Hochberg: "So"


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 © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "De drukkende avond", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "The oppressive evening", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Pénible soirée", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Johann Winkler

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 57

The oppressive evening
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
The dark clouds were hanging down
So forebodingly and heavily.
We two walked sadly to and fro
In the garden.

So hot and silent, so dreary
And starless was the night --
Just like our love,
Created only for tears.

And when I had to depart
And wished you good night,
In my sorrowing heart
I sadly wished death for us both.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2008 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: 2008-01-09
Line count: 12
Word count: 61