Translation © by Emily Ezust

Der Schildwache Nachtlied
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE ITA RUS SPA
"Ich kann und mag nicht fröhlich sein;
Wenn alle Leute schlafen, 
So muß ich wachen,
Muß traurig sein."

"Ach Knabe, du sollst nicht traurig sein,
Will deiner warten,
Im Rosengarten,
Im grünen Klee."

"Zum grünen Klee, da komm ich nicht,
zum Waffengarten
Voll Helleparten
Bin ich gestellt."

"Stehst du im Feld, so helf dir Gott,
An Gottes Segen 
Ist alles gelegen,
Wer's glauben tut."

"Wer's glauben tut, ist weit davon,
Er ist ein König,
Er ist ein Kaiser,
Er führt den Krieg."

Halt! Wer da? Rund! Bleib' mir vom Leib!
Wer sang es hier? Wer sang zur Stund'?
Verlorne Feldwacht 
Sang es um Mitternacht.
Mitternacht! Feldwacht!


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 (Emily Ezust) , "The sentinel's nightsong", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Chant de nuit de la sentinelle", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Canto notturno della sentinella", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • RUS Russian (Русский) (Elena Kalinina) , "Ночная песня часового ", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Elena María Accinelli) , "La canción nocturna del centinela", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Jakob Kellner

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 25
Word count: 106

The sentinel's nightsong
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
"I cannot and may not be merry;
when everyone is asleep,
I must keep watch,
and be mournful."

"Ah, lad, you shouldn't be sad,
for I will wait for you
in the rosegarden,
in the green clover."

"To the green clover, I do not come;
to the weapons garden,
full of halberds,
I have been posted."

"If you are in the battlefield, may God help you!
On God's blessing
is everything dependent,
he who believes it."

"He who believes it is far away.
He is a king,
he is an emperor,
and he makes war."

Halt! Who's there? Turn around! Stand back!
Who sang here? Who was singing this hour?
A solitary field sentinel
was singing at midnight.
Midnight! Field sentinel!


  • 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: 25
Word count: 121