by Johann Baptist Mayrhofer (1787 - 1836)
Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Der Lerche wolkennahe Lieder
Erschmettern zu des Winters Flucht.
Die Erde hüllt in Sammt die Glieder,
Und Blüthen bilden rothe Frucht.
Nur du, o sturmbewegte Seele,
[Bist]1 blüthenlos, in dich gekehrt,
Und wirst in goldner Frühlingshelle
Von tiefer Sehnsucht aufgezehrt.

Nie wird, was du verlangst, entkeimen
Dem Boden, Idealen fremd;
Der trotzig deinen schönsten Träumen
Die [rauhe]2 Kraft entgegen stemmt.
Du ringst dich matt mit seiner Härte,
Vom Wunsche heftiger entbrannt:
Mit Kranichen ein [strebender]3 Gefährte
Zu wandern in ein milder Land.

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von Johann Mayrhofer. Wien. Bey Friedrich Volke. 1824, page 100.

1 Schubert: "Nur du bist"
2 Schubert: "rohe"
3 Schubert (misprint in Alte Gesamtausgabe): "sterbender"


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) , "Deler", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Hunkering", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "Longing", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Désir", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 82

Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
The songs of the lark, up near the clouds,
Ring out as winter flees.
The earth covers its limbs in velvet
And blossoms form red fruit.
Only you, storm-tossed soul,
Only you do not blossom. You are turned in on yourself,
And in the golden brightness of spring
You are sucked dry by deep longing.
What you crave will never spring from
This soil, a stranger to ideals,
Which, despite your most beautiful dreams,
Sets its raw strength up against you.
You exhaust yourself battling against its toughness,
Fired up with the burning desire
To set off as a striving companion with the cranes
And to migrate to a kinder country.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2010 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:


This text was added to the website: 2010-10-25
Line count: 16
Word count: 111