by Nikolaus Lenau (1802 - 1850)
Translation © by Peter Palmer

Der Kranich
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Stoppelfeld, die Wälder leer,
Und es irrt der Wind verlassen,
Weil kein Laub zu finden mehr,
Rauschend seinen Gruß zu fassen.

Kranich scheidet von der Flur,
Von der kühlen, lebensmüden,
Freudig ruft er's, daß die Spur
Er gefunden nach dem Süden.

Mitten durch den Herbstesfrost
Schickt der Lenz aus fernen Landen
Dem Zugvogel seinen Trost,
Heimlich mit ihm einverstanden.

O wie mag dem Vogel sein,
Wenn ihm durch das Nebeldüster
Zückt ins Herz der warme Schein
Und das ferne Waldgeflüster!

Hoch im Fluge übers Meer
Stärket ihn der Duft der Auen;
O wie süß empfindet er
Ahnung, Sehnsucht und Vertrauen!

Nebel auf die Stoppeln taut;
Dürr der Wald - ich duld es gerne,
Seit gegeben seinen Laut
Kranich, wandernd in die Ferne.

Hab ich gleich, als ich so sacht
Durch die Stoppeln hingeschritten,
Aller Sensen auch gedacht,
Die ins Leben mir geschnitten;

Hab ich gleich am dürren Strauch
Andres Welk bedauern müssen,
Als das Laub, vom Windeshauch
Aufgewirbelt mir zu Füßen;

Aber ohne Gram und Groll
Blick ich nach den Freudengrüften,
Denn das Herz im Busen scholl
Wie der Vogel in den Lüften;

Ja, das Herz in meiner Brust
Ist dem Kranich gleich geartet,
Und ihm ist das Land bewußt,
Wo mein Frühling mich erwartet.


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Peter Palmer) , title 1: "The crane", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "La grue", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2007-09-28
Line count: 40
Word count: 205

The crane
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Field of stubble, empty forests;
And the wind roams desolately,
Since it can find no more leaves
Rustling in response to its greeting.

The crane is departing from the meadow,
Which has cooled and grown weary of life,
Joyfully it calls that it has found
The route leading to the South.

In the midst of the autumn chill
The spring sends the migrating crane
Its solace from distant lands,
Being in secret agreement with it.

Oh, what feelings the bird must have
When, through the gloom of the mist,
Its heart is stabbed by radiant warmth
And the distant forest whisperings!

As it flies high over the sea
The fragrance of meadows lend it vigor;
Oh how sweet it is to have a sense of
Anticipation, longing, and faith!

Mist is thawing on the stubble;
Barren the forest; but I'll gladly bear it
Since perceiving the sound of the crane
Journeying into the distance.

While I was stepping
Gingerly through the stubble,
I thought at once of all the scythes
That have hacked into my life.

The bare bushes promptly made me
Feel regret for another withering
Than that of the leaves which the breeze
Had tossed about at my feet:

But it's without grudge or hatred
That I look back at buried joys,
For the heart in my bosom was singing out
Like the bird up in the skies;

Oh yes, the heart in my breast
Is at one with the crane's,
And it, too, knows of the land
Where my springtime awaits me.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2006 by Peter Palmer, (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: 2009-03-23
Line count: 40
Word count: 255