by Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Ich bin auch in Ravenna gewesen
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG ENG FRE
Ich bin auch in Ravenna gewesen,
Ist eine kleine, tote Stadt,
Die Kirchen und viel Ruinen hat,
Man kann davon in den Büchern lesen.

Du gehst hindurch und schaust dich um,
Die Straßen sind so trüb und naß
Und sind so tausendjährig stumm,
Und überall wächst Moos und Gras!

Das ist wie alte Lieder sind,
Man hört sie an und keiner lacht
Ein jeder lauscht und jeder sinnt
Hernach daran bis in die Nacht.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Hermann Hesse, Sämtliche Werke, herausgegeben von Volker Michels, Band 10 Die Gedichte, bearbeitet von Peter Huber, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2002, page 77.


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 (Emily Ezust) , no title, copyright ©
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Ravenna - 1", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 74

I have also been in Ravenna
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
I have also been in Ravenna;
it is a small, dead town,
and has churches and many ruins
that one can read about in books.

You walk about and gaze around:
the streets are so gloomy and wet,
and so mute with the weight of a thousand years,
and everywhere grows moss and grass!

It is as old songs are:
people hear them but no one laughs,
and each listens and each reflects
upon them until deep in the night.

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: 80