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

Künstlers Abendlied
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Ach, daß die innre Schöpfungskraft
Durch meinen Sinn erschölle!
Daß eine Bildung voller Saft
Aus meinen Fingern quölle!

Ich zittre nur, ich stottre nur,
Und kann es doch nicht lassen;
Ich fühl, ich kenne dich, Natur,
Und so muß ich dich fassen.

Bedenk ich dann, wie manches Jahr
Sich schon mein Sinn erschließet,
Wie er, wo dürre Heide war,
Nun Freudenquell genießet;

Wie sehn ich mich, Natur, nach dir,
Dich treu und lieb zu fühlen!
Ein lustger Springbrunn wirst du mir
Aus tausend Röhren spielen.

Wirst alle meine Kräfte mir
In meinem Sinn erheitern
Und dieses enge Dasein hier
Zur Ewigkeit erweitern.


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 (Emily Ezust) , "The artist's evening song", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Chanson vespérale de l'artiste", copyright © 2011, (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: 20
Word count: 102

The artist's evening song
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
 Ah, if only the inner force of creation
 would resound through my mind!
 If only a shape filled with spirit
 would flow from my fingers!
 I only tremble, I only stammer,
 and cannot seem to let it happen;
 Yet I feel I know you, Nature,
 and so I must capture you.
 When I think how many years
 my mind has been opening up,
 how, where once there was an arid heath,
 now one can enjoy a stream of delight;
 then how I long for you, Nature,
 and feel so faithful and dear to you!
 You will become for me a merry spring fountain
 gushing from a thousand tubes.
 You will enhance all the powers
 of my mind
 and amplify my narrow existence here
 to Eternity.


  • 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: 20
Word count: 126