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Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Der blinde Knabe
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG FRE ITA
O sagt, ihr Lieben, mir einmal,
Welch Ding ist's, Licht genannt?
Was sind des Sehens Freuden all',
Die niemals ich gekannt?

Die Sonne, die so hell ihr seht,
Mir Armen scheint sie nie;
Ihr sagt, sie auf und nieder geht,
Ich weiß nicht wann, noch wie.

Ich mach' mir selbst so Tag [wie]1 Nacht,
Dieweil ich schlaf' und spiel',
Mein inn'res Leben schön mir lacht,
Ich hab' der Freuden viel.

Zwar kenn' ich nicht, was euch erfreut,
Doch drückt mich keine Schuld,
D'rum freu' ich mich in meinem Leid,
Und trag' es mit Geduld.

Ich bin so glücklich, bin so reich
Mit dem, was Gott mir gab,
Bin wie ein König froh, obgleich
Ein armer blinder Knab'.

View original text (without footnotes)

Note: Schubert received Craigher's poem in handwritten form. Craigher did not include it in the printed edition of his poems.

1 Schubert (first print 1827 and Alte Gesamtausgabe): "und"


Based on:

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

  • by Franz Peter Schubert (1797 - 1828), "Der blinde Knabe", op. 101 no. 2, D 833 (1825), published 1827, first performed 1829 [ voice, piano ], attachment to Wiener Zeitschrift für Kunst, Literatur, Theater und Mode [sung text checked 1 time]

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "De blinde jongen", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "The blind lad", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Le garçon aveugle", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Il fanciullo cieco", copyright © 2010, (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: 2003-11-07
Line count: 20
Word count: 117

The blind lad
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Now tell me once and for all, dear friends,
What thing is that which they call light?
What are all those joys of sight
That I have never known?

The sun which you see so bright
It never shines on poor me;
You say it goes up and down,
I don't know when, or how.

I make my own day, similarly night,
While I sleep and play,
My inner life smiles beautifully upon me,
I have many a joy.

Although I do not know what it is that is giving you joy,
I don't feel that there is anything missing,
Therefore I take pleasure in my suffering
And I bear it with patience.

I am so happy, I am so rich,
With what God has given me,
I am as cheerful as a king, despite being
A poor, blind lad.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2020 by Malcolm Wren, (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:

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2020-01-06
Line count: 20
Word count: 140