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

Wir saßen am Fischerhause
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG FRE ITA
Wir saßen am Fischerhause,
Und schauten nach der See;
Die Abendnebel kamen,
Und stiegen in die Höh'.

Im Leuchtturm wurden die Lichter
Allmählich angesteckt,
Und in der weiten Ferne
Ward noch ein Schiff entdeckt.

Wir sprachen von Sturm und Schiffbruch,
Vom Seemann, und wie er lebt,
Und zwischen Himmel und Wasser,
Und Angst und Freude schwebt.

Wir sprachen von fernen Küsten,
Vom Süden und vom Nord,
Und von den seltsamen Menschen
Und seltsamen Sitten dort.

Am Ganges duftet's und leuchtet's,
Und Riesenbäume blühn,
Und schöne, stille Menschen
Vor Lotosblumen knien.

In Lappland sind schmutzige Leute,
Plattköpfig, breitmäulig, klein;
Sie kauern ums Feuer und backen
Sich Fische, und quäken und schrein.

Die Mädchen horchten ernsthaft,
Und endlich sprach niemand mehr;
Das Schiff war nicht mehr sichtbar,
Es dunkelte gar zu sehr.

D. Cordes sets stanzas 1-4

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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in English, a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Walter Bell.
  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by Maurice Dufresne (d. 1953) ; composed by Tibor Harsányi.

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "'s Avonds aan het strand", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "We sat at the fisherman's house", copyright ©
  • ENG English (Emma Lazarus) , appears in Poems and Ballads of Heinrich Heine, first published 1881
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Presso la casa del pescatore", copyright © 2010, (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: 28
Word count: 130

We sat at the fisherman's house
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
 We sat at the fisherman's house,
 and gazed out at the sea;
 the evening mists arrived,
 and climbed into the heights.

 At the lighthouse the lights were
 gradually lit,
 and in the far-off distance
 was discovered yet another ship.

 We spoke of storms and shipwrecks,
 of the seaman and how he lives,
 and of hovering between sky and water,
 between fear and joy.

 We spoke of far-off coasts,
 of the South and of the North,
 and of the odd people
 and odd customs there.

 At the Ganges, it is fragrant and shimmering:
 and giant trees bloom there,
 and fair, quiet people
 kneel before lotus flowers.

 In Lapland there are dirty people,
 flat-headed, broad-mouthed, small;
 they crouch around the fire and bake
 fish, and squeak and scream.

 The maidens listened earnestly,
 and finally no one spoke any more;
 The ship was no longer visible,
 for it was now much too dark.


  • 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: 28
Word count: 151