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

Arm in Arm und Kron' an Krone steht der...
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Arm in Arm und Kron' an Krone steht der Eichenwald verschlungen,
heut hat er bei guter Laune mir sein altes Lied gesungen;

Fern am Rande fing ein junges Bäumchen an sich sacht zu wiegen,
und dann ging es immer weiter an ein Sausen, an ein Biegen;

kam es her in mächt'gem Zuge, schwoll es an zu breiten Wogen,
hoch sich durch die Wipfel wälzend kam die Sturmesflut gezogen.

Und nun sang und pfiff es graulich in den Kronen, in den Lüften,
und dazwischen knarrt' und dröhnt' es unten in den Wurzelgrüften.

Manchmal schwang die höchste Eiche gellend ihren Schaft alleine,
donnernder erscholl nur immer drauf der Chor vom ganzen Haine!

Einer wilden Meeresbrandung hat das schöne Spiel geglichen;
alles Laub war weißlich schimmernd nach Nordosten hingestrichen.

Also streicht die alte Geige Pan der Alte laut und leise,
unterrichtend seine Wälder in der alten Weltenweise.

In den sieben Tönen schweift er unerschöpflich auf und nieder,
in den sieben alten Tönen, die umfassen alle Lieder.

Und es lauschen still die jungen Dichter und die jungen Finken,
kauernd in den dunklen Büschen sie die Melodien trinken.

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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: "Song of the woods", copyright ©

Researcher for this text: Caroline Diehl

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 18
Word count: 183

Song of the woods
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
 Arm in arm and treetop to treetop stands the labyrinthine oak forest.
 Today it was in a good mood and sang me its old song.
 By it distant outskirts, a young sapling started to sway gently,
 and then it went further until it was swishing and flexing;
 it came here in a powerful surge, swelling into broad waves;
 rolling high through the treetops came the storm flood.
 And now in the treetops there was a horrid singing and piping in the air,
 and in between, below among the roots, there was a crunching and droning.
 Many times, loudly, the highest oak would brandish its trunk alone,
 followed by a chorus of the entire grove resounding thunderously!
 This beautiful game was much like the wild surf of the sea;
 all the leaves, gleaming white, swept out toward the northeast.
 In such a way does ancient Pan bow his old fiddle, loudly and softly,
 teaching his woods the old melodies of the world.
 Inexhaustibly he rambles up and down, using only seven notes;
 all songs use these seven ancient notes.
 And they listen quietly, the young poets and young finches;
 crouching in the dark bushes they drink in the melodies.


  • 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: 18
Word count: 199