by Robert Walser (1878 - 1956)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

Im Mondschein
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Ich dachte gestern nacht,
die Sterne müssten singen,
als ich aufwacht
und es leise hörte klingen.

Es war aber eine Handharfe,
die durch die Räume drang,
und durch die kalte, scharfe
Nacht klang es so bang.

Dachte so verlornem Ringen,
Gebeten und Flüchen nach,
und noch lange hört' ich es singen,
lag lang noch wach.


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 (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "In moonlight", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2007-08-18
Line count: 12
Word count: 55

In moonlight
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
I thought the other night
it was as if the stars were singing,
when I woke from a light
yet constant ringing.

It was a concertina, though,
spreading through the rooms,
and through the cold and biting
night an anxiousness was wafting.

Was poring over struggles lost,
prayers, maledictions,
and long I heard the singing,
still lay awake for long.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2009 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT)

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This text was added to the website: 2009-09-09
Line count: 12
Word count: 60