by Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Der arme Peter wankt vorbei
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE ITA SPA
Der arme Peter wankt vorbei,
Gar langsam, leichenblaß und scheu.
Es bleiben fast, wie sie ihn sehn,
Die Leute auf der Straße stehn.

Die Mädchen flüstern sich ins Ohr:
"Der stieg wohl aus dem Grab hervor?"
Ach nein, ihr lieben Jungfräulein,
Der steigt erst [ins]1 Grab hinein.

Er hat verloren seinen Schatz,
Drum ist das Grab der beste Platz,
Wo er am besten liegen mag
Und schlafen bis zum jüngsten Tag.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Buch der Lieder von Heinrich Heine, zweiundfünfzigste Auflage (52nd edition), Hamburg, Hoffmann und Campe, 1882, page 53.

1 Schumann: "in das"


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

The text above (or a part of it) is used in the following settings:

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by Maurice Dufresne (d. 1953) ; composed by Tibor Harsányi.
  • Also set in Italian (Italiano), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Giovanni Sgambati.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2021, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Arme Peter III -- De arme Peter sjokt voorbij", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , no title, copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Maurice Dufresne)
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Le pauvre Pierre passe en chancelant", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Amelia Maria Imbarrato) , "Il povero Pietro va avanti con passo incerto", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Saúl Botero Restrepo) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 71

Poor Peter staggers past
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
 Poor Peter staggers past,
 quite slowly, as pale as a corpse, and shy.
 When they see him, 
 the people in the street almost stop in their tracks.
 Maidens whisper in one another's ears:
 "Surely he has risen from the grave!"
 But no, dear young girls,
 he has not yet climbed into his grave.
 He has lost his love;
 therefore the grave is the best place for him.
 There he might best lie
 and sleep until Judgment Day.

About the headline (FAQ)


  • 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: 12
Word count: 78