by Julius Mosen (1803 - 1867)
Translation by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)

Als der Heiland litt am Kreuze
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Als der Heiland litt am Kreuze,
Himmelwärts den Blick gewandt,
Fühlt' er heimlich sanftes Zücken
An der stahldurchbohrten Hand.

Hier von Allen ganz verlassen,
Sieht er eifrig mit Bemühn
An dem einen starken Nagel
Ein barmherzig Vöglein ziehn.

Blutbeträuft und ohne Rasten
Mit dem Schnabel zart und klein,
Möcht' den Heiland es vom Kreuze,
Seines Schöpfers Sohn befrein.

Und der Heiland spricht in Milde:
„Sei gesegnet für und für!
Trag' das Zeichen dieser Stunde, 
Ewig Blut und Kreuzeszier!“

Kreuzesschnabel heißt das Vöglein;
Ganz bedeckt von Blut so klar,
Singt es tief im Fichtenwalde
Märchenhaft und wunderbar.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Sämmtliche Werke von Julius Mosen, Erster Band, Oldenburg, Verlag von Ferdinand Schmidt, 1863, pages 33-34.


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:

  • Also set in English, a translation by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882) , "The legend of the crossbill", from Poems, first published 1845 ; composed by Arthur Hopper, Edwin A. Jones, Le Chevalier Lemmens.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-06-19
Line count: 20
Word count: 96

The legend of the crossbill
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
 On the cross the dying Saviour
  Heavenward lifts his eyelids calm,
Feels, but scarcely feels, a trembling
  In his pierced and bleeding palm.

And by all the world forsaken,
  Sees he how with zealous care
At the ruthless nail of iron
  A little bird is striving there.

Stained with blood and never tiring,
  With its beak it doth not cease,
From the cross 't would free the Saviour,
  Its Creator's Son release.

And the Saviour speaks in mildness:
  "Blest be thou of all the good!
Bear, as token of this moment,
  Marks of blood and holy rood!"

And that bird is called the crossbill;
  Covered all with blood so clear,
In the groves of pine it singeth
  Songs, like legends, strange to hear. 

Authorship

Based on

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


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-06-19
Line count: 20
Word count: 124