by Peter Cornelius (1824 - 1874)
Translation © by John H. Campbell

Vergieb uns unsre Schuld
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG ENG
Nachts, wenn sich Sturmwind wild erhebt
Und Reue Dir im Innern wacht,
Dann bebt Dein Herz in dunkler Nacht
So schmerzlich wie's noch nie gebebt,
Du ringst, in tiefster Brust verzagt
Umsonst nach Trost, umsonst nach Licht,
Weil durch den Sturm, noch lauter spricht
Dein eigen Herz, das dich verklagt;
Doch ob der Sturm auch schweigen mag
Und laue Luft Dich lind umspült,
Wenn tiefe Reu die Seele fühlt,
Bebt sie im Sturm [am ruh'gen]1 Tag.
Dann preisen Vöglein Gottes Huld
Und singen hell zu ihm empor,
Dir aber dröhnt ihr Sang in's Ohr
Wie herbe Klag' um Deine Schuld.

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von Peter Cornelius, eingeleitet von Adolf Stern, Leipzig, C. F. Kahnt Nachfolger, 1890, page 124.

1 Cornelius: "an ruh'gem" (song)


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 (John H. Campbell) , "Forgive us our sins", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English [singable] (James B. Robinson) , "Forgive us our trespasses", copyright © 2006, (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: 100

Forgive us our sins
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
At night, when stormy winds blow wildly
And remorse wakes within you,  
Then, your heart quakes in darkest night  
As painfully as has never shaken.

You struggle, in deepest breast despairing,
For nothing comforts, for nothing brightens,
Because through the gale, still clearly speaks
Your own heart, accusing you.

After all if the gale then be silent
And balmy breezes prevail,  
When the soul feels deep remorse,  
It quakes as tho'twer stormy, on a quiet day.  

Then, little bird praise God-almighty
And sing brightly to him above,  
Your song drones on the ear however  
With harsh notes revealing your guilt.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by John H. Campbell, (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 between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 100