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

Ob der Koran von Ewigkeit sei?
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT ENG FRE ITA
Ob der Koran von Ewigkeit sei?
Darnach frag ich nicht!
Ob der Koran geschaffen sei?
Das weiß ich nicht!
Daß er das Buch der Bücher sei,
Glaub ich aus Mosleminenpflicht.
Daß aber der Wein von Ewigkeit sei,
Daran zweifl' ich nicht;
Oder daß er vor den Engeln geschaffen sei,
Ist vielleicht auch kein Gedicht.
Der Trinkende, wie es auch immer sei,
Blickt Gott frischer ins Angesicht.

About the headline (FAQ)


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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "És etern l’Alcorà?", copyright © 2021, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Has the Koran existed for all eternity?", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Se il Corano sia eterno", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 66

Has the Koran existed for all eternity?
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Has the Koran existed for all eternity?
On that I shall not inquire!
Was the Koran created?
That I do not know!
That it is the Book of Books,
I believe as is my Muslim duty.
But that wine has existed for all eternity,
That I do not doubt;
Or that it was created before the angels
perhaps is also no myth.
The man who drinks, as it always has been,
looks God in the face afresh.


  • 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:


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 77