by Johann Christian Günther (1695 - 1723)
Translation © by Poppy Holden

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
In der Ruh vergnügter Sinnen
steckt das höchste Gut der Welt;
und diess Kleinod zu gewinnen,
braucht man weder stat noch Geld:
weil ein jeder stündlich sieht,
daß, wer heute trotzt und blüht,
morgen oft am Ruder zieht.

Äusserliche pracht und güter
sind ein Schein verdeckter list,
die vor niedrige Gemüter
ein geschmücktes Fallbret ist;
wer hier blind und sicher trit,
dessen unbedachter Schritt
nimmt die Reu in Abgrund mit.


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 (Poppy Holden) , "Composure", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Poppy Holden

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 70

Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
 The discerning of the world 
 set rest as the highest good; 
 and to win this treasure, 
 one needs neither finery nor money: 
 because everyone sees hourly that, 
 who flowers defiantly today, 
 tomorrow often pulls on the oar. 
 Outward splendour and goods 
 are a shiny cunning, 
 which is a decorated trap 
 for humble dispositions; 
 he who steps here blind and overconfident, 
 he who steps rashly,
 carries regret into the abyss.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Poppy Holden, (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 between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 70