by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
Translation © by Shula Keller

Ich denke dein, wenn mir der Sonne...
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG ENG FRE IRI ITA POR
Ich denke dein, wenn mir der Sonne Schimmer
[Vom Meere]1 strahlt;
Ich denke dein, wenn [sich]2 des Mondes [Flimmer]3
In Quellen mahlt.

Ich sehe dich, wenn auf dem fernen Wege
Der Staub sich hebt;
In tiefer Nacht, wenn auf dem schmalen [Stege]4
Der Wandrer bebt.5

Ich höre dich, wenn dort mit dumpfem Rauschen
Die Welle steigt.
Im [stillen]6 [Haine]7 geh' ich oft [zu]8 lauschen,
Wenn alles schweigt.

Ich bin bei dir, du seyst auch noch so ferne,
Du bist mir nah!
Die Sonne sinkt, [bald]9 leuchten mir die Sterne.
O wärst du da!

L. Beethoven sets stanza 1

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View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Goethe's Werke, Vollständige Ausgabe letzter Hand, Erster Band, Stuttgart und Tübingen, in der J.G.Cottaschen Buchhandlung, 1827, page 65, and with Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1796, herausgegeben von Schiller. Neustrelitz, bei dem Hofbuchhändler Michaelis, page 5.

1 Beethoven: "Von Meeren"
2 Wilhelmj: "dich" (typo?)
3 Schubert (Neue Gesamtausgabe): "Schimmer"
4 Schubert: "Wege"
5 Backer-Grøndahl inserts "Ich sehe dich."
6 Lang: "dunklen"
7 Schubert: "Hain, da"
8 Lang: "um zu"
9 Schubert (Neue Gesamtausgabe): "es"


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:

  • Also set in Czech (Čeština), a translation by Josef Srb-Debrnov (1836 - 1904) ; composed by Zdenko Antonín Václav Fibich.
  • Also set in Danish (Dansk), a translation by Emil Aarestrup (1800 - 1856) , "Den Elsktes Nærhed" ; composed by Valdemar Fini Henriques.
  • Also set in Danish (Dansk), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Agathe Ursula Backer-Grøndahl.
  • Also set in Russian (Русский), a translation by A. Bistrom , written 1825 ; composed by Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Aliabev.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Nabijheid van de beminde", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , no title, copyright ©
  • ENG English [singable] (Shula Keller) , "Nearness to the Beloved", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Edgar Alfred Bowring) , appears in The Poems of Goethe, first published 1853
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Proximité du bien-aimé", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • IRI Irish (Gaelic) [singable] (Gabriel Rosenstock) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Amelia Maria Imbarrato) , "Presenza della persona amata", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • POR Portuguese (Português) (Margarida Moreno) , "Penso em ti", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 93

Nearness to the Beloved
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
I soar to you just as the splendor of sunset -- 
shines o'er the sea...
My thoughts are with you - while moon's magic rays 
reflect on the glimmering water.
Your face I see, when over the road - far and distant - 
the dust swirls round.
In darkest night - on far narrow pathways - 
where the wanderer shudders.
Your voice I hear - in waves of the roaring ocean - 
from deep below.
The hush of the woodland -- where often I walk -- through slumbering 
forests in silence.
With you I fly - though you remain in the distance 
you soar with me.
As twilight brings stardust -- of radiant lanterns -- oh, how I long 
to be near you.


  • Singable translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2008 by Shula Keller, (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: 2008-03-06
Line count: 16
Word count: 118