Translation © by Laura Prichard

Er reitet nachts auf einem braunen Roß
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Er reitet [nachts auf einem braunen]1 Roß,
Er reitet vorüber an manchem Schloß:
Schlaf droben, mein Kind, bis der Tag erscheint,
Die finstre Nacht ist des Menschen Feind!

Er reitet vorüber an einem Teich,
Da stehet ein schönes Mädchen bleich
Und singt, ihr Hemdlein flattert im Wind:
Vorüber, vorüber, mir graut vor dem Kind!

Er reitet vorüber an einem Fluß,
Da ruft ihm der Wassermann seinen Gruß,
Taucht wieder unter dann mit Gesaus,
Und stille wird's über dem kühlen Haus.

Wann Tag und Nacht im verworrnen Streit,
Schon Hähne krähen im Dorfe weit,
Da schauert sein Roß und wühlet hinab,
Scharret ihm schnaubend sein eigenes Grab.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Banck: "zur Nacht auf schwarzem"; further changes may exist not shown above.


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 (Laura Prichard) , "Rider in the night", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Le voyageur de la nuit", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Jakob Kellner

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2019-01-22 12:47:15
Line count: 16
Word count: 106

Rider in the night
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
He rides at night on his bay steed,
He rides past many a castle:
"Sleep up there, my child, until daybreak,
The dark night is man's enemy!"

He rides past a pond,
There a beautiful, pale maiden stands
And sings, her blouse blowing in the wind:
"Ride on, ride on, I fear for the child!"

He rides past a river,
From which the merman calls a greeting to him,
He dives underneath with a whoosh,
And stillness descends over the cold house.

As day and night engage in battle,
Already cocks crow in the distant village.
His steed shudders and rakes the ground,
Snorting, he paws at his own grave.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2013 by Laura Prichard, (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


Text added to the website: 2013-04-23 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:05:10
Line count: 16
Word count: 110