by Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Wie eine Welle, die vom Schaum gekränzt
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Wie eine Welle, die vom Schaum gekränzt
Aus blauer Flut sich voll Verlangen reckt
Und müd und schön im großen Meer verglänzt -

Wie eine Wolke, die im leisen Wind
Hinsegelnd aller Pilger Sehnsucht weckt
Und blaß und silbern in den Tag verrinnt -

Und wie ein Lied am heißen Straßenrand
Fremdtönig klingt mit wunderlichem Reim
Und dir das Herz entführt weit über Land -

So weht mein Leben flüchtig durch die Zeit,
Ist bald vertönt und mündet doch geheim
Ins Reich der Sehnsucht und der Ewigkeit.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Hermann Hesse, Sämtliche Werke, herausgegeben von Volker Michels, Band 10 Die Gedichte, bearbeitet von Peter Huber, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2002, page 97.


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 (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2009-05-06
Line count: 12
Word count: 87

Like a wave that, wreathed in foam
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Like a wave that, wreathed in foam,
Stretches forth from the blue water full of yearning
And glistens, weary and lovely, as it dissipates in the vast ocean -

Like a cloud that, sailing past in the quiet wind,
Wakes the yearning of all pilgrims
And, pale and silvery, trickles away into the day -

And as a song at the torrid roadside
Rings out in strange tones with wondrous rhyme
And carries off your heart far across the land -

Thus wafts my life fleetingly through time;
Its sound soon fades, and yet it flows secretly
Into the realm of yearning and of eternity.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"Wie eine Welle" = "Like a wave"
"Wie eine Welle, die vom Schaum gekränzt" = "Like a wave that, wreathed in foam"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2019 by Sharon Krebs, (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: 2019-10-12
Line count: 12
Word count: 105