by Karl Gottfried von Leitner (1800 - 1890)
Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Wolke und Quelle
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG
Auf meinen heimischen Bergen
Da sind die Wolken zu Haus',
Bin mitten innen gestanden,
Und sah in's Thal hinaus.

Sie aber flogen von dannen,
Wie Schwäne so licht und leicht;
[Wär' gerne]1 mit ihnen gezogen,
So weit der Himmel reicht.

Es drängte mich fort in die Fremde
Zur Ferne ein wilder Trieb;
Doch jetzt erscheinen mir Heimath
Und Nähe gar heilig und lieb.

Nun sehn' ich mich nimmer in's Weite,
Hinaus in's nebelnde Blau;
Nun späh' ich mit stillem Verlangen
Hinab in die schmale Au.

Was nickt dort unten am Fenster,
Und blühet wie Morgenlicht?
Ist's ihre Ros' am Gesimse,
[Wie]2 oder ihr holdes Gesicht?

Viel Glück ihr Wolken zur Reise!
Ich ziehe nimmer mit euch;
Was aber locket und lispelt
Da drüben im Lenzgesträuch?

Bist du es Quelle, die flistert?
Ja, ja! ich eile mit dir;
Du kennst ja die kürzesten Wege
Hinunter, hinunter zu ihr!

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von Carl Gottfried Ritter von Leitner. Wien, gedruckt bey J. P. Sollinger. 1825, pages 165-166; and with Gedichte von Karl Gottfried Ritter v. Leitner. Zweite sehr vermehrte Auflage. Hannover. Victor Lohse. 1857, pages 106-107.

Note: Schubert only sketched an outline of the vocal part of this song, but did neither write a title nor underlay any text. Reinhard van Hoorickx identified the poem set by Schubert and suggested a completion of Schubert's fragment.

1 Leitner (1857 edition): "Gern wär' ich"
2 apparently omitted by Schubert


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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Núvol i font", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Wolk en bron", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "Cloud and spring", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Ted Perry , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 28
Word count: 147

Cloud and spring
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
On my local mountains
The clouds are at home,
I stood in the middle of them
And looked down into the valley.

But they flew away from there,
Like swans, so bright and light;
I would happily have gone with them
As far as the sky extended.

I felt a force driving me off abroad
To distant places, like a wild instinct;
But now my homeland has appeared in front of me,
And everything that is close by, so holy and beloved.

Now I never long to go far away,
Out into the misty blue;
Now, with a quiet longing, I peer
Down into the narrow meadow.

What is it nodding down there by the window,
And blossoming like the morning light?
Is it her rose on the window-sill
Or is it her beautiful face?

Clouds, good luck on your journey!
I shall never go off with you;
What is it that is beckoning and whispering
Over there in the spring foliage?

Is it you that is murmuring, oh spring?
Yes, yes, I shall hurry along with you;
You surely know the shortest route
Down, down to her!


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2020 by Malcolm Wren, (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: 2020-04-08
Line count: 28
Word count: 188