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

An Schwager Kronos
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE ITA
Spude dich, Kronos!
Fort den rasselnden Trott!
Bergab gleitet der Weg;
Ekles Schwindeln zögert
Mir vor die Stirne dein Zaudern.
Frisch, holpert es gleich,
Ueber Stock und Steine den Trott
Rasch in's Leben hinein!

Nun schon wieder
Den erathmenden Schritt
Mühsam Berg hinauf.
Auf denn, nicht träge denn,
Strebend und hoffend hinan!

Weit, hoch, herrlich [der Blick
Rings]1 ins Leben hinein,
Vom Gebirg' zum Gebirg'
Schwebet der ewige Geist,
Ewigen Lebens ahndevoll.

Seitwärts des Überdachs Schatten
Zieht dich an,
Und ein Frischung verheißender Blick
Auf der Schwelle des Mädchens da.
Labe dich! - Mir auch, Mädchen,
Diesen schäumenden Trank,
Diesen frischen Gesundheitsblick!

Ab denn, rascher hinab!
Sieh, die Sonne sinkt!
Eh' sie sinkt, eh' mich Greisen
Ergreift im Moore Nebelduft,
Entzahnte Kiefer schnattern
Und das schlotternde Gebein.

Trunknen vom letzten Strahl
Reiß mich, ein Feuermeer
Mir im schäumenden Aug',
Mich geblendeten Taumelnden
In der Hölle nächtliches Thor.

Töne, Schwager, in's Horn,
Raßle den schallenden Trab,
Daß der Orkus vernehme: wir kommen,
Daß gleich an der [Thüre]2
Der Wirth uns freundlich empfange.

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Goethe's Werke. Vollständige Ausgabe letzter Hand. Zweyter Band. Stuttgart und Tübingen, in der J.G.Cotta'schen Buchhandlung. 1827, pages 68-69; and with Goethe's Schriften, Achter Band, Leipzig, bey Georg Joachim Göschen, 1789, pages 198-200.

Note: Goethe wrote the initial version of this poem in the stagecoach on Oct. 10, 1774, and the manuscript of the poem became part of a poetry collection given to Charlotte von Stein in 1777, posthumously published as Goethes erste Weimarer Gedichtsammlung, see below.

1 Schubert: "rings / Den Blick"
2 Schubert: "Thür"


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) , "Al postilló Cronos", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Aan voerman Kronos", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "To Coachman Chronos", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Au postillon Chronos", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Amelia Maria Imbarrato) , "Al postiglione Kronos", copyright © 2006, (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: 41
Word count: 171

To Coachman Chronos
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Make haste, Chronos!
Forth, into a rattling trot!
Downhill slides the path;
A repulsive dizziness slowly
seizes my mind at your dallying.
Quick, jolting equally
over sticks and stones - trot
quickly into life!

Now, already again we are
breathless, at a walking pace,
struggling uphill.
Up then, don't be sluggish then,
striving and hoping onwards!

Wide, tall and splendid
is the panoramic view of life,
from mountain-range to mountain-range
floats the eternal spirit,
full of promise of eternal life.

To the side, a shady over-roof
draws you;
and a gaze of warm freshness
from a maiden on the threshhold there.
Refresh yourself! For me, too, maiden,
this foaming drink,
this fresh healthy look!

Down then, down faster!
Look, the sun is sinking!
Before it sets, before I, an old man,
am seized by a mist on the moor,
my toothless jaw chattering
and my limbs trembling,

drunk from the last ray -
pull me, a sea of fire
foaming in my eye,
blinded, reeling,
through Hell's nocturnal gate.

Sound your horn, Coachman,
rattle with a noisy trot,
so that Orcus can hear that we're coming,
so that immediately at the door
the innkepper can give us a friendly welcome.


  • 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 --

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

Based on


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 41
Word count: 200