Translation © by John H. Campbell

Auf ein schlummerndes Kind
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Wenn ich, o Kindlein, vor dir stehe,
Wenn ich im Traum dich lächeln sehe,
  Wenn du erglühst so wunderbar,
Da ahne ich mit süßem Grauen:
Dürft' ich in deine Träume schauen,
  So wär' mir alles, alles klar.

Dir ist die Erde noch verschlossen,
Du hast noch keine Lust genossen,
  Noch ist kein Glück, was du empfindest;
Wie könntest du so süß denn träumen,
Wenn du nicht noch in jenen Räumen,
  Woher du kamest, dich ergingst ?1

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Cornelius next repeats the first stanza, with the first line replaced ith "Drum wenn, o Kind, ich vor dir stehe"


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 (John H. Campbell) , "To a sleeping child", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Sur un enfant assoupi", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: John H. Campbell

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 76

To a sleeping child
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
When, my little one, I stand before you,
When I see you smile in your dream,
When you glow so wonderfully,
Then, I wonder with sweet dread:
If I were allowed to look into your dreams,
Would everything, be so clear to me?

The world is still a mystery to you,
You have yet enjoyed no desire,
No, only joy is what you feel.
How do you dream so sweetly then,
If not still you in that place,
From where you came, so suddenly?

Note: when Cornelius repeats the first stanza, the modified first line would be translated "So, my child, as I stand here"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by John H. Campbell, (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: 12
Word count: 84