by Otto Julius Bierbaum (1865 - 1910)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Wie eine leise Glocke klingt
Die Sehnsucht in mir an;
Weiß nicht, woher, wohin sie singt,
Weil ich nicht lauschen kann.
Es treibt das Leben mich wild um,
Dröhnt um mich mit Gebraus,
Und mählich wird die Glocke stumm,
Und leise klingt sie aus.
Sie ist nur für den Feiertag
Gemacht und viel zu fein,
Als daß ihr bebebanger Schlag
Dräng in die Lärmluft ein.
Sie ist ein Ton von dorten her,
Wo alles Feier ist;
Ich wollte, daß ich dorten wär,
Wo man den Lärm vergißt.


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) , "Longing", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Nostalgie", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Harry Joelson

This text was added to the website: 2008-03-16
Line count: 16
Word count: 87

Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Like a quiet bell
Longing rings within me;
I know not whither, whence it sings,
Because I cannot listen.

Life drives me wildly about,
With a roar it drones about me,
And bit by bit the bell falls mute,
And quietly it ceases to ring.

It is only made for days of ease,
And is far too finely made
For its tremblingly anxious beat
To penetrate into the noisy air.

It is a sound from yonder
Where everything is ease;
I wish that I were there,
Where one forgets the noise.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2012 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: 2012-07-03
Line count: 16
Word count: 91