by Friedrich Hölderlin (1770 - 1843)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Warum huldigest du, heiliger Sokrates
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT ENG FRE
"Warum huldigest du, heiliger Sokrates,
  Diesem Jünglinge stets? [Kennest]1 du Größers nicht,
    Warum siehet mit Liebe,
      Wie auf Götter, dein Aug' auf ihn?"

Wer das Tiefste gedacht, liebt das Lebendigste,
  Hohe Tugend versteht, wer in die Welt geblickt,
    Und es neigen die Weisen
      Oft am Ende zu Schönem sich.

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1 Britten: "Kennst"


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , title 1: "Socrates and Alcibiades", copyright ©
  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , title 1: "Sòcrates i Alcibíades", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Stéphane Goldet) (Pierre de Rosamel) , title 1: "Socrate et Alcibiade", copyright © 2014, (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: 8
Word count: 49

Socrates and Alcibiades
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
"Why, holy Socrates, do you court
  This youth all the time? Don't you know of anything greater?
    Why do your eyes gaze on him with love,
      as if you were looking at the gods?"
He who has pondered the most profound thoughts, loves what is most alive;
  He who has seen the world understands lofty virtue.
    And in the end, the wise will often
      Bend toward that which is beautiful.


  • 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: 8
Word count: 70