by (Karl) Theodor Körner (1791 - 1813)
Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Jüngst träumte mir, ich sah' auf lichten...
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Jüngst träumte mir, ich sah' auf lichten Höhen
Ein Mädchen sich im jungen Tag ergehen,
So hold, so süß, daß es Dir völlig glich.
Und vor ihr lag ein Jüngling auf den Knien,
Er schien sie sanft an seine Brust zu ziehen,
Und das war ich!

Doch bald verändert hatte sich die Scene.
In tiefen Fluthen sah' ich jetzt die Schöne,
Wie ihr die letzte schwache Kraft entwich.
Da kam ein Jüngling hülfreich ihr geflogen,
Er sprang ihr nach, und trug sie aus den Wogen,
Und das war ich!

So malte sich der Traum in bunten Zügen,
Und überall sah' ich die Liebe siegen,
Und alles, alles dreh'te sich um Dich!
Du flogst voran in ungebundner Freie,
Der Jüngling zog dir nach mit stiller Treue,
Und das war ich!

Und als ich endlich aus dem Traum erwachte,
Der neue Tag die neue Sehnsucht brachte,
Da blieb Dein liebes süßes Bild um mich.
Ich sah Dich von der Küsse Gluth erwarmen,
Ich sah Dich selig in des Jünglings Armen,
Und das war ich!

Da tratst Du endlich auf des Lebens Wegen
Mit holder Anmuth freundlich mir entgegen,
Und tiefe heiße Sehnsucht faßte mich.
Sah'st Du den Jüngling nicht mit trunknen Blicken?
Es schlug sein Herz im seligen Entzücken!
Und das war ich!

Du zogst mich in den Kreis des höhern Lebens,
In Dir vermählt sich alle Kraft des Strebens,
Und alle meine Wünsche rufen Dich.
Hat einer einst Dein Herz davon getragen,
Dürft' ich nur dann mit lautem Munde sagen:
Ja, das war ich!

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Knospen von Theodor Körner. Leipzig bei Georg Joachim Göschen. 1810, pages 96-98; with Theodor Körner's Gedichte. [Erster Theil.] Neueste Auflage. Wien 1815. Bey B. Ph. Bauer, pages 74-75; and with Theodor Körners vermischte Gedichte und Erzählungen (poetischer Nachlass). Wien, 1815. In der Haasschen Buchhandlung, pages 41-43.


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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Dat was ik", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "That was me", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "C'était moi", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 36
Word count: 253

That was me
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
I recently had a dream: on sunlit heights I saw
A girl walking about in the early morning,
So beautiful, so sweet, that she was just like you.
And in front of her, on his knees lay a lad.
He appeared to be pulling her gently to his breast,
And that was me.

But the scene suddenly switched.
Now I saw the beautiful girl in deep floods,
As if drained of her remaining weak strength.
Then a lad flew to help her,
He jumped in after her and pulled her out of the waves,
And that was me!

The dream seemed to be painted in such vivid colours,
And I saw love conquering everywhere,
And everything, really everything, revolved around you!
You rushed forwards in unfettered freedom,
The lad pulled you to him with calm devotion,
And that was me!

And when I eventually woke from the dream,
The new day brought along a new longing,
Your lovely sweet image remained with me.
I saw you warming up with the heat of kisses,
I saw you contented in the lad's arms,
And that was me!

Then you finally stepped onto the path of life
Looking towards me with a beautiful friendly grace,
And a deep hot longing overpowered me.
Did you not see the lad with a drunken look about him?
His heart with beating with a blessed delight!
And that was me!

You pulled me into the circle of a higher life,
In you are married all the powers of striving,
And all of my wishes call to you.
If anyone has at any point pulled at your heart,
May I simply be able to say aloud:
Yes, that was me!


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2016 by Malcolm Wren, (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: 2016-09-11
Line count: 36
Word count: 282