Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Die stille Stadt
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FIN FRE
Liegt eine Stadt im Tale,
ein blasser Tag vergeht;
es wird nicht [lange dauern mehr]1,
bis weder Mond noch Sterne
[nur Nacht]2 am Himmel steht.

Von allen Bergen drücken
Nebel auf die Stadt;
es dringt kein Dach, [nicht]3 Hof noch Haus,
kein Laut aus ihrem Rauch heraus,
kaum Türme noch und Brücken.

[Doch]4 als [den]5 Wandrer graute,
da ging ein Lichtlein auf im Grund;
und [durch den]6 [Rauch und Nebel]7
begann [ein leiser Lobgesang]8
aus Kindermund.

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Richard Dehmel Hundert ausgewählte Gedichte, Berlin: S. Fischer Verlag, 1909, page 110.

1 Mahler: "lang mehr dauern"
2 Thuille: "nur noch Nacht"
3 Thuille: "kein"
4 Pfitzner: "und"
5 Mahler: "der"; Thuille "dem"
6 Mahler, Thuille: "aus dem"
7 Thuille: "Rauch, dem Nebel"
8 Mahler: "ein Lobgesang"


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 Finnish (Suomi), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Jean Sibelius.

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

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "The silent town", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Hiljainen kaupunki", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "La ville calme", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Jakob Kellner , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 15
Word count: 76

The silent town
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
A town lies in the valley,
a pallid day fades;
it will not be long now
before neither moon nor stars
but only [night]1 will be seen in the sky.

From all the mountains
fog presses down upon the town;
no roof may be discerned, no yard nor house,
no sound penetrates through the smoke,
barely even a tower or a bridge.

[But]2 as the traveller became filled with dread
a little light shone out;
and [through the]3 [smoke and fog]4
[a quiet song]5 of praise began,
sung by children.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Thuille: "alone"
2 Pfitzner: "and"
3 Mahler, Thuille: "from out of the"
4 Thuille: "smoke, the fog"
5 Mahler: "a song"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2020 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: 2015-03-04
Line count: 15
Word count: 90