by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)
Translation © by T. P. (Peter) Perrin

Wolle, die Wandlung 
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Wolle die Wandlung. O sei für die Flamme begeistert, 
[drin sich ein Ding dir entzieht, das mit Verwandlungen prunkt;]1
jener entwerfende Geist, welcher das Irdische meistert, 
liebt in dem Schwung der Figur nichts wie den wendenden Punkt. 

Was sich ins Bleiben verschließt, schon ists das Erstarrte; 
[wähnt es sich sicher im Schutz des unscheinbaren Grau's? 
Warte, ein Härtestes warnt aus der Ferne das Harte. 
Wehe -: abwesender Hammer holt aus! ]1

Wer sich als Quelle ergießt, den erkennt die Erkennung; 
und sie fuhrt ihn entzückt durch das heiter Geschaffne, 
das mit Anfang oft schließt und mit Ende beginnt. 

Jeder glückliche Raum ist Kind oder Enkel von Trennung, 
den sie staunend durchgehn. Und die verwandelte Daphne 
will, seit sie lorbeern fühlt, daß du dich wandelst in Wind.

E. Janson sets stanzas 1-2

View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Janson.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

This text (or a part of it) is used in a work

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English [singable] (T. P. (Peter) Perrin) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Désire la transformation", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Ferdinando Albeggiani

This text was added to the website: 2009-06-01
Line count: 14
Word count: 126

Will transformation. O, be keen for the...
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Will transformation.  O, be keen for the fires
where renewal, superb, forces something to leave you, grow strange;
the designer-spirit, earth's overseer, adores
most of all, in the sweep of the image, the moment of change.

A thing wrapped in permanence challenges demolition,
but is that grey housing safety enough for its liking?
"Watch out," to the hard comes the hardest's far admonition.
Danger -- the unseen hammer is raised for striking!

Who pours forth himself like a fountain, he's known by Knowing,
which takes him, rapt, where all happiness commences,
that often will close with opening, start at the end.

Each blissful space they cross, astonished, is going
to be child or grandchild of parting. When Daphne senses
herself changed to laurel she wills you transformed into wind.

About the headline (FAQ)


  • Singable translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2009 by T. P. (Peter) Perrin, (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: 2009-06-22
Line count: 14
Word count: 128