Translation © by Emily Ezust

Die Nonne und der Ritter
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG FRE ITA
[Da die]1 Welt zur Ruh' gegangen,
Wacht mit Sternen mein Verlangen,
In der Kühle muß ich lauschen,
Wie die Wellen unten rauschen!

"Fernher mich die Wellen tragen,
Die ans Land so traurig schlagen,
Unter deines Fensters Gitter,
Fraue, kennst du noch den Ritter?"

Ist's doch, als ob seltsam' Stimmen
Durch die lauen Lüfte schwimmen;
Wieder hat's der Wind genommen, -
Ach, mein Herz ist so beklommen!

"Drüben liegt dein Schloß verfallen,
Klagend in den öden Hallen,
Aus dem Grund der Wald mich grüßte,
's war, als ob ich sterben müßte."

Alte Klänge blühend schreiten;
Wie aus lang versunknen Zeiten
Will mich Wehmut noch bescheinen,
Und ich möcht' von Herzen weinen.

"Überm Walde blitzt's [vom]2 weiten,
Wo um Christi Grab sie streiten;
Dorthin will mein Schiff ich wenden,
Da wird alles, alles enden!"

Geht ein Schiff, ein Mann stand [drinne]3,
Falsche Nacht, verwirrst die Sinne!
Welt Ade! Gott woll' bewahren,
Die noch irr im Dunkeln fahren!

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Pfitzner: "Da ist die"
2 Brahms, Pfitzner: "von"
3 Brahms, Pfitzner: "drinnen"


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 (Emily Ezust) , title 1: "The Nun and the Knight", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "La nonne et le chevalier", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , title 1: ""La monaca e il cavaliere" da "Romanze"", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , title 1: "De non en de ridder", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 28
Word count: 155

The Nun and the Knight
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
 As the world goes to rest,
 my yearning awakens with the stars;
 I must listen in the cool
 as the waves roar below!
 "I am brought here from far away by waves
 that beat so mournfully against the land,
 beneath the bars of your window.
 Lady, do you still know this Knight?"
 It is as if strange voices
 are floating through the mild air;
 once again the wind has taken them away, -
 alas, my heart is so anxious!
 "Over there lies your ruined castle
 lamenting in its desolate halls;
 the way the woods greeted me,
 I felt as though I must die."
 Old sounds burst forth,
 sunk long since in time;
 melancholy falls on me once again,
 and I feel like weeping from my heart.
 "Over the wood lightning flashes from afar,
 where they are fighting over the grave of Christ;
 There will I steer my ship,
 and there will everything end!"
 A ship leaves with a man upon it;
 false night, you bewilder the mind!
 Farewell, world! May God protect
 those who wander madly in darkness!


  • 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: 28
Word count: 179