by Christian Reinhold (1813 - 1856)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Leise sinkt der Abend nieder
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Leise sinkt der Abend nieder,
Bringt die Gegenwart zur Ruh --
Rausche denn bewegter Flieder
Sing' von alter Zeit mir zu.

Bring sie all' die holden Tage
Holde Nächte wieder vor. 
Ganz wie fremde Wundersage,
Trifft es mein berauschtes Ohr!

Kehrte heut' der Tag nicht wieder
Der zuerst mich froh gemacht!
Sinke drauf wie damals nieder
Himmlisch friedensvolle Nacht!

Jener Tag hat Wort gehalten.
Was er leis versprochen dort,
Ward zur Fülle von Gestalten,
Und noch immer wirkt es fort.

Und warum denn nun die Klage,
Daß der Tag nicht wiederkehrt?
Wurden denn nicht schön're Tage,
Schön’re Nächte dir bescheert?

Ach, der Tag kehrt doch nicht wieder,
So flieht auch das Heute sacht.
Rausche denn, bewegter Flieder!
Thränen liebt die sanfte Nacht.

J. Lang sets stanzas 1-3

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Christian Reinhold Köstlin’s poetry manuscripts, Z 2727-67, poem [7], written in Lustnau on July 1, 1844, Deutsches Literaturarchiv, Marbach, Germany.

Submitter's note: Josephine Lang's title is the date on which the poem was written by her husband (the anniversary of their first meeting four years earlier).


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 First of July", copyright © 2021, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Le 1er juillet", copyright © 2021, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2008-06-25
Line count: 24
Word count: 121

The First of July
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Quietly the evening falls,
Bringing the present to rest. 
Rustle then, moving lilac;
Sing to me of olden times.

Bring them all, the golden days,
Lovely nights, [bring them] forth again!
Just like a strange myth
[Their reappearance] reaches my intoxicated ear.

Did not today return the day
That first made me happy?
Sink down upon it, just as you did back then,
You heavenly, peaceful night!

That day kept its word.
What it quietly promised there
Became a plethora of figures
And it still goes on working.

And why then the lamenting
That the day does not return?
Have you not been granted 
More beautiful days, more beautiful nights?

Ah, the day does not return in any case,
And today, too, gently flees.
Rustle then, moving lilac!
The soft night loves tears.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2021 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: 2008-06-25
Line count: 24
Word count: 133