by Peter Cornelius (1824 - 1874)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Christus der Kinderfreund
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG ITA
Das zarte Knäblein ward ein Mann,
Erlöst uns von der Sünde Bann;
Doch neigt er freundlich immerdar
Und liebend sich zur Kinderschar.
Habt ihr den Ruf des Herrn vernommen,
Des Heilands Stimme mild und weich?
"Lasset die Kleinen zu mir kommen,
Denn ihrer ist das Himmelreich!"

Mich aber mahnt die Weihnachtszeit
An Träume der Vergangenheit;
Erinnrungsodem hauchet mild
Den Schleier von der Kindheit Bild;
Da Lichter hell am Baum erglommen,
Ist mir, als würd ich Kindern gleich,
Als dürft ich mit euch Kleinen kommen,
Zu teilen euer Himmelreich.


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , title 1: "Christ the Friend of Children", copyright ©
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Amelia Maria Imbarrato) , title 1: "Cristo, l'amico dei bambini", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 88

Christ the Friend of Children
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
The tender boy became a man
and redeemed us from the spell of sin;
Yet he always bows kindly
and lovingly to a crowd of children.
Have you heard the call of the Lord,
the Saviour's voice, mild and soft?
"Let the little ones come to me,
for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven!"

But to me, Christmastime reminds me
of the dreams of the past;
a breath of memory gently wafts 
the veil away from images of childhood;
when the candles gleam brightly on the tree,
I feel as if I were a child again -
as if I could come with you children
to share your Heavenly Kingdom.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive --

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

Based on


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 110