by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Ach, was soll der Mensch verlangen?
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE ITA
Ach, was soll der Mensch verlangen?
Ist es besser, ruhig bleiben?
Klammernd fest sich anzuhangen?
Ist es besser, sich zu treiben?

Soll er sich ein Häuschen bauen?
Soll er unter Zelten leben?
Soll er auf die Felsen trauen?
Selbst die festen Felsen beben.

Eines schickt sich nicht für alle;
Sehe jeder, wie er's treibe,
Sehe jeder, wo er bleibe,
Und wer steht, daß er nicht falle!

J. Kelz sets stanza 3 only

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Authorship

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: "Reflection", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "Résolution", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , title 1: "Riflessione", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:30
Line count: 12
Word count: 66

Reflection
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Ah, what should Man desire?
Is it better to remain silent,
clinging tightly to hang on?
Is it better to carry on?

Should he build himself a house?
Should he live in tents?
Should he trust the rocks?
For even firm rock can tremble.

But one thing does not suit everyone;
each should see what he can do -
each see where he should stay;
and he who stands will not fall!

Authorship

  • 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 -- https://www.lieder.net/

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.


Based on

 

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:30
Line count: 12
Word count: 72