by Johann Gabriel Seidl (1804 - 1875)
Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Irdisches Glück
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
So Mancher sieht mit finstrer Miene
Die weite Welt sich grollend an,
Des Lebens wunderbare Bühne
Liegt ihm vergebens aufgethan.
Da weiß ich besser mich zu nehmen,
Und fern, der Freude mich zu schämen,
Genieß' ich froh den Augenblick:
Das ist denn doch gewiß ein Glück.

Um manches Herz hab ich geworben,
Doch währte mein Triumph nicht lang,
Denn Blödheit hat mir oft verdorben,
Was kaum mein Frohsinn mir errang.
D'rum bin ich auch dem Netz entgangen;
Denn, weil kein Wahn mich hielt umfangen,
Kam ich von keinem auch zurück:
Und das ist doch gewiß ein Glück!

Kein Lorbeer grünte meiner Scheitel,
Mein Haupt umstrahlt' kein Ehrenglanz;
Doch ist darum mein Thun nicht eitel;
Ein stiller Dank ist auch ein Kranz!
Wem, weit entfernt von kecken Flügen,
Des Thales stille Freuden g'nügen,
Dem bangt auch nie für sein Genick:
Und das ist doch gewiß ein Glück!

Und ruft der Bot' aus jenen Reichen
Mir einst, wie Allen, ernst und hohl,
Dann sag ich willig, im Entweichen,
Der schönen Erde »Lebe wohl!«
Sei's denn, so drücken doch am Ende
Die Hand mir treue Freundeshände,
So segnet doch mich Freundesblick:
Und das ist, Brüder, doch wohl Glück!

Note: Schubert received Seidl's poem in handwritten form. Seidl issued it later in a revised form in the newspaper Der Wanderer, but did not include it in his poetry editions.


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

Another version of this text exists in the database.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Goig terrenal ", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Aards geluk", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "Earthly happiness", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Bonheur terrestre", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 32
Word count: 195

Earthly happiness
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
So many people look on with a grim expression
As they complain about the wide world,
Life's miraculous stage
Lies in vain before them.
Yet I know better how to behave,
And far be it from me to be ashamed of joy,
I enjoy the moment with delight:
Surely that is something that counts as happiness.

I have attracted many a heart
Yet my triumph did not last long,
For silliness has often spoiled for me
What my cheerful attitude led me to attain.
I have therefore also escaped from the net;
Since, because no illusion held me hostage
I did not return to any of them:
And surely that is something that counts as happiness!

No laurels garlanded my locks,
No halo shone around my head;
Yet nevertheless what I have achieved is not in vain;
A quiet 'thank you' is also a garland!
To those who are far away from saucy flights
The quiet joys of the valley are sufficient,
Neither do they need to worry about saving their necks:
And surely that is something that counts as happiness!

And when the ambassador from those realms calls
One day, as he will for everyone, with a serious and cavernous voice,
Then I shall willingly say, as I leave,
To the beautiful earth, "Farewell!"
So let it be, since at the end we shall hold
Hands, faithful hands of friends will be held out to me,
And in this way I shall be blessed by the eyes of friends:
And that, brothers, is surely something that counts as happiness!


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2020 by Malcolm Wren, (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: 2020-03-15
Line count: 32
Word count: 260