by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Warum ich wieder zum Papier mich wende?
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Warum ich wieder zum Papier mich wende?
   Das mußt du, Liebster, so bestimmt nicht fragen:
   Denn eigentlich hab' ich dir nichts zu sagen;
   Doch kommt's zuletzt in deine lieben Hände.
Weil ich nicht kommen kann, soll was ich sende,
   Mein ungetheiltes Herz hinüber tragen
   Mit Wonnen, Hoffnungen, Entzücken, Plagen:
   Das alles hat nicht Anfang, hat nicht Ende.
Ich mag vom heut'gen Tag dir nichts vertrauen,
   Wie sich im Sinnen, Wünschen, Wähnen, Wollen
   Mein treues Herz zu dir hinüber wendet:
So stand ich einst vor dir, dich anzuschauen
   Und sagte nichts. Was hätt' ich sagen sollen?
   Mein ganzes Wesen war in sich vollendet.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Goethe's Gedichte, Erster Theil, Neue Auflage, Stuttgart und Tübingen: in der J.G. Cotta'schen Buchhandlung, 1829, page 259


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 (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2008-04-04
Line count: 14
Word count: 102

Why do I again turn to paper to write to...
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Why do I again turn to paper [to write to you]?
   Beloved, you must not ask that so particularly:
   For actually I have nothing to say to you;
   And yet, in the end it [the letter] will come into your dear hands.
Because I cannot come, that which I send
   Is to carry my undivided heart to you,
   With joys, hopes, raptures, vexations:
   All of that has no beginning, has no end.
I am not able to confide anything about this day to you,
   How in reflection, wishing, imagining, desiring,
   My loyal heart turns toward you:
Thus I once stood before you, to gaze at you
   And said nothing. What could I have said?
   My whole being was complete within itself.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translated titles:
Die Liebende abermals = Once more the woman in love
Die Liebende schreibt = The woman in love writes


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2017 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: 2009-03-06
Line count: 14
Word count: 121