by Gottfried Keller (1819 - 1890)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Augen, meine lieben Fensterlein
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Augen, meine lieben Fensterlein,
Gebt mir schon so lange [holden]1 Schein,
Lasset freundlich Bild um Bild herein:
Einmal werdet ihr verdunkelt sein!

Fallen einst die müden Lider zu,
Löscht ihr aus, dann hat die Seele Ruh';
Tastend streift sie ab die Wanderschuh',
Legt sich auch in ihre finstre Truh'.

[Noch]2 zwei Fünklein sieht sie glimmend stehn
Wie zwei Sternlein, innerlich zu sehn,
Bis sie schwanken [und dann auch vergehn]3
Wie von eines Falters Flügelwehn.

Doch noch wandl' ich auf dem Abendfeld,
Nur dem sinkenden Gestirn gesellt:
Trinkt, o Augen, was die Wimper hält,
Von dem goldnen Überfluß der Welt!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gesammelte Gedichte von Gottfried Keller, Erster Band, J. G. Cotta’sche Buchhandlung Nachfolger, Stuttgart und Berlin, 1902, page 43.

1 Thuille: "hellen"
2 Thuille: "Nur"
3 Marx: "und vergehn"


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) , "Evening song", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Chant du soir", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Caroline Diehl

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 99

Evening song
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
 My eyes, my dear little windows,
 for a long time now you have given me lovely light,
 kindly allowing in one image after another:
 yet one day you will grow dark!
 When someday your weary lids fall closed,
 you will be extinguished and my soul will have its rest;
 tentatively, it will strip off its wanderer's shoes,
 and lay itself also in its dark coffin.
 But it will still see two small sparks gleaming there
 like two little stars, seen only inwardly,
 until they weaken and then also die out
 as if blown by the wings of a butterfly.
 But I still wander in the evening fields,
 accompanied only by fading stars:
 drink, o eyes, as much as your lashes can hold,
 of the golden opulence of the world!


  • 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: 16
Word count: 130