Translation © by Emily Ezust

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE ITA SPA
Zögernd, [stille]1,
In des Dunkels nächt'ger [Hülle]2
Sind wir hier;
Und den Finger sanft gekrümmt,
Leise, leise,
Pochen wir
An des Liebchens Kammerthür.

Doch nun steigend,
[Hebend, schwellend]3,
Mit vereinter [Stimme Laut]4
Rufen aus wir hochvertraut:5
Schlaf' du nicht,
Wenn der Neigung Stimme spricht!

Sucht' ein Weiser nah' und ferne
Menschen einst mit der Laterne,
Wie viel selt'ner dann als Gold,
Menschen uns geneigt und hold?
D'rum, wenn Freundschaft, Liebe spricht,
Freundin, Liebchen, schlaf' du nicht! -

Aber was in allen Reichen
Wär' dem Schlummer zu vergleichen?
[Was du hast und weißt und bist,
Zahlt nicht, was der Schlaf vergißt.]6
D'rum statt Worten und statt Gaben,
Sollst du nun auch Ruhe haben;
Noch ein Grüßchen, noch ein Wort,
Es verstummt die frohe Weise,
Leise, leise,
Schleichen [wir]7 uns wieder fort!

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Grillparzer's Sämmtliche Werke. Erster Band. Stuttgart. Verlag der J. G. Cotta'schen Buchhandlung. 1872, page 254; and with Grillparzers Sämmtliche Werke in zehn Bänden. Dritte Ausgabe. Erster Band. Stuttgart. Verlag der J. G. Cotta'schen Buchhandlung. 1878, pages 241-242.

Note: Schubert received a manuscript from Grillparzer, where the text may have been slightly different to what was published in Grillparzer's collected works. In the editions of 1872 and 1874 the poem has the subtitle "Musik von Franz Schubert" and the wrong dating 1824, the edition of 1878 has the correct dating 1827.

1 Schubert: "leise"
2 Schubert (second version only): "Stille"
3 Schubert: "Schwellend, schwellend, hebend"
4 Schubert: "Stimme, laut,"
5 In Grillparzer's editions of 1872 and 1874 stanza 2 ends here and the subsequent two lines belong to stanza 3.
6 omitted by Schubert
7 Schubert (first version): "wir, ja schleichen wir"; Schubert (second version): "wir, schleichen wir"


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) (Joan Company) , "Serenata", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Serenade", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Serenade", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Sérénade", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Paolo Montanari) , "Serenata", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Elisa Rapado) , "Serenata", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Richard Morris , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 29
Word count: 130

Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Hesitantly quiet
in the dark of the night's stillness,
we are here,
and, our fingers softly bent,
gently, gently
we knock
at the beloved's chamber door.

And now growing,
swelling, swelling,
with one combined voice, loudly
we call with confidence;
don't sleep
when the voice of love speaks!

A wise man once looked near and far
with a lantern for true human beings;
how much more rare than gold
are those people whom we like and find lovely?
So, when friendship and love speaks,
my friend - my love - don't sleep!

But what of all the riches 
could be as valuable as sleep?
So instead of words and instead of gifts
you should now also have rest.
Just one more greeting, one more word;
then our merry song for you falls silent.
Quietly, quietly,
we steal away, yes we steal away again!


  • 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: 27
Word count: 143