by Friedrich von Schiller (1759 - 1805)
Translation © by T. P. (Peter) Perrin

Hektors Abschied
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
 Will sich Hektor ewig von mir wenden,
 Wo Achill mit [den unnahbar'n]1 Händen
 Dem Patroklus schrecklich Opfer bringt?
 Wer wird künftig deinen Kleinen lehren
 Speere werfen und die Götter ehren,
 Wenn der finstre Orkus dich verschlingt? 

 Theures Weib gebiete deinen Thränen,
 Nach der Feldschlacht ist mein feurig Sehnen,
 Diese Arme schützen [Pergamus]2.
 Kämpfend für den heil'gen Herd der Götter
 Fall ich, und des Vaterlandes Retter
 Steig' ich nieder zu dem styg'schen Fluß.

 Nimmer lausch' ich deiner Waffen Schalle,
 Müßig liegt [dein]3 Eisen in der Halle,
 Priams großer Heldenstamm verdirbt.
 Du wirst hingeh'n wo kein Tag mehr scheinet,
 Der Cocytus durch die Wüsten weinet,
 Deine [Liebe in dem]4 Lethe stirbt.

 All mein Sehnen will ich, all mein Denken,
 In des [Lethe]5 stillen Strom versenken,
 Aber meine Liebe nicht.
 Horch! der Wilde tobt schon an den Mauern,
 Gürte mir das Schwerdt um, laß das Trauern,
 Hektors Liebe stirbt im Lethe nicht.

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von Friederich Schiller, Erster Theil, Leipzig, 1800, bey Siegfried Lebrecht Crusius, pages 301-302.

First published in a different version in "Die Räuber", act 2, scene 2 (see below).

1 Schubert: "unnahbaren"
2 Schubert (first print 1826, and Neue Gesamtausgabe, second version): "Pergamos"
3 Schubert: "das"
4 Schubert: "Lieb' im"
5 Schubert (manuscript and first print 1826 only): "Lethes"


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

Another version of this text exists in the database.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "El comiat d’Hèctor", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Hectors afscheid", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (T. P. (Peter) Perrin) , "Hector's leave-taking", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "L'adieu d'Hector", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Richard Morris , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 28
Word count: 153

Hector's leave‑taking
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
 Will Hector tear himself from me forever
 while Achilles haughty-handedly is making
 dire death-offerings for Patroclus?
 Who in days to come will teach your son
 to throw the spear and pay the gods due honor
 if you are entombed in black Hades?

 Dear wife, hold back your tears.
 My fervent longing is for battle,
 to protect Troy with these arms.
 If I die fighting for the gods' sacred hearth,
 I shall descend to the Stygian river
 as savior of our fatherland.
 Never again will I hear your weapons' clangor;
 your sword will lie rusting in the hall.
 Priam's great heroic race will fall in ruin.
 You will have gone where daylight shines no more,
 where Cocytus wanders the desert wailing;
 your love will die in Lethe's stream.

 I may let all my longing, all my thoughts,
 be drowned in Lethe's silent flood,
 but not my love.
 Listen! the mob by the walls rages in frenzy.
 Fasten my sword on for me, end your mourning;
 Hector's love in Lethe will not die.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2012 by T. P. (Peter) Perrin, (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: 2012-04-04
Line count: 28
Word count: 175