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

Wie glänzt der helle Mond so kalt und...
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE TUR
Wie glänzt der helle Mond so kalt und fern,
Doch ferner schimmert meiner Schönheit Stern!

Wohl rauschet weit von mir des Meeres Strand,
Doch weiterhin liegt meiner Jugend Land!

Ohn Rad und Deichsel gibt's ein Wägelein,
Drin fahr ich bald zum Paradies hinein.

Dort sitzt die Mutter Gottes auf dem Thron,
Auf ihren Knien schläft ihr selger Sohn.

Dort sitzt Gott Vater, der den Heilgen Geist
Aus seiner Hand mit Himmelskörnern speist.

In einem Silberschleier sitz ich dann
Und schaue meine weißen Finger an.

Sankt Petrus aber gönnt sich keine Ruh,
Hockt vor der Tür und flickt die alten Schuh.

C. Sinding sets stanzas 1-3, 5-7

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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: "How coldly and distantly the moon gleams!", copyright ©
  • TUR Turkish (Türkçe) (Gül Sabar) , title 1: "Ay nasıl da parlıyor öyle soğuk ve uzak", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title unknown, 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: 14
Word count: 100

How coldly and distantly the moon gleams!
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
How coldly and distantly the moon gleams!
Yet even more distantly does my sweetheart's star shine!

The lake's shore roars far from me
yet even farther lies the land of my youth!

There is a small cart without wheels or shafts -
in it I will soon travel to Paradise.

There sits the Mother of God on her throne,
and at her knee sleeps her blessed son.

There sits God the Father, who feeds the holy ghost
from his hand with heavenly corn.

In a silver veil will I then sit
and gaze at my white fingers.

Saint Peter, however, will allow himself no rest,
crouching by the door and repairing his old shoes.


  • 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: 14
Word count: 114