by Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Wenn du die kleine Hand mir gibst
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE ITA
Wenn du [die kleine Hand]1 mir gibst,
Die so viel Ungesagtes sagt,
Hab ich dich jemals dann gefragt,
Ob du mich liebst?

Ich will ja nicht, daß du mich liebst,
Will nur, daß ich dich nahe weiß
Und daß du manchmal stumm und leis
Die Hand mir gibst.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

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 73.

1 Lindauer-Cattaneo: "deine kleine Hand"; J. Marx, Schütz: "die Hand"; Schick: "die liebe Hand"


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:

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

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "Request", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "S'il te plaît", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Gianni Franceschi) , "Richiesta", copyright © 2014, (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: 2007-06-02
Line count: 8
Word count: 48

Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
When you give me your [little]1 hand,
[Your hand] that says so many unsaid things,
Have I ever asked you then,
If you love me?

For I do not want you to love me,
I only want to know that you are near
And that sometimes, mutely and quietly,
You give me your hand.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Marx and Schütz; Schick: "dear"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2012 by Sharon Krebs, (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.

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This text was added to the website: 2012-07-28
Line count: 8
Word count: 54