Translation © by Emily Ezust

Alles um Liebe
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG FRE
Was ist es, das die Seele füllt?
Ach Liebe füllt sie, Liebe!
Sie füllt nicht Gold, noch Goldeswerth,
Nicht, was die öde Welt begehrt,
Sie füllt nur Liebe, Liebe!

Was ist es, das die Sehnsucht stillt?
Ach, Liebe stillt sie, Liebe!
Sie stillt nicht Titel, Stand noch Rang,
Und nicht des Ruhmes Schellenklang;
Sie stillt nur Liebe, Liebe!

Was ist's, wonach das Herz zerlechzt?
Es lechzet, ach, nach Liebe!
Es schmachtet nicht nach Druck und Kuß,
Nicht nach der Wollust Vollgenuß;
Es schmachtet nur nach Liebe.

Gern geb' ich, was ich hab' und bin,
Gern geb' ichs hin um Liebe.
Des Reichthums bunter Seifenschaum,
Der Wollust Rausch, des Ruhmes Traum,
Was frommt mirs ohne Liebe?

Viel süßer ist's, gering und arm
An treuer Brust verschmachten,
Als ungeliebt und liebelos
Den Tag verprassen, und im Schooß
Der Wollust übernachten!

O liebe Traute, liebe mich,
So wahr, wie ich dich liebe!
Dann schwinde Ruhe, Ruhm und Glück!
Nimm alles, alles hin, Geschick;
Mir gnügt Ellwinens Liebe.

Und wär mein Loos, getrennt von dir,
Mein Leben zu vertrauren;
Und wüßt' ich nur, daß du mich liebst,
Und wüßte nur, daß du mir bliebst -
Wer dürfte mich bedauren?

Und wär' ich in der Sklaverey,
In freundeloser Wildniß,
Und wäre dein, nur dein gewiß,
So wäre Sklaverey mir süß,
Und Paradies die Wildniß.

Und hüllte Todesfinsterniß
Dich, meines Lebens Sonne,
Und stürb' ich nur, von Ihr gemeint,
Von Ihr beklagt, von Ihr beweint,
So stürb' ich, ach, [mit]1 Wonne!

Viel besser ist's, jung, kräftig, kühn
Im Arm der Liebe sterben,
Als ungeliebt und liebelos
In dumpfer Freuden mattem Schooß
Veralten und verderben!

J. Zumsteeg sets stanzas 1-6, 8-10

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Ludwig Theoboul Kosegarten's Poesieen. Zweiter Band. Leipzig bei Heinrich Gräff. 1798, pages 185-187.

1 Zumsteeg: "in"


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Set in a modified version by Franz Peter Schubert.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Alles voor liefde", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Everything for love", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Tout pour l'amour", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 50
Word count: 268

Everything for love
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
What is it, that fills the soul?
Ah, love fills it, love!
It is filled not by gold, nor its worth,
not by what the [bleak]1 world desires:
it is filled only with love!

What is it that stills our yearnings?
Ah, love stills them, love!
They are stilled not by titles, status or rank,
and not by the ringing bells of renown;
they are stilled only by love, love!

What is it that the heart desires?
It desires love!
It does not yearn for sudden kisses
nor the enjoyment of lust;
it yearns only for love!

I would gladly give all that I have and am,
gladly give it all for love:
the colorful lather of riches,
the intoxication of lust, the dream of renown;
for without love, what good do they do me?

Much sweeter is it, small and poor,
to lie against a faithful bosom
than dissipate the days unloved and and loveless,
and pass the nights in the lap
of lust!

O dear sweetheart, love me
as truly as I love you!
Let peace, renown, and fortune disappear -
take everything, Fate;
Ellwina's love is enough for me.

And if it were my lot to be separated from you,
I would still trust in life; 
for if I knew you loved me,
and knew you to remain mine,
who could pity me?

And if I were a slave
in a [friendless]2 wilderness,
and were still yours, and only yours,
slavery would be sweet to me,
the wilderness a paradise.

And if the darkness of death veiled
you, sun of my life,
or if I died, thought of only by you,
mourned and wept for only by you,
then I would die in bliss.

Far better it is to die young, strong and bold,
to die in the arms of one's beloved,
than, unloved and loveless,
in the lap of dull, languid joys,
to grow old and deteriorate!

View original text (without footnotes)
1 in Schubert and the other Kosegarten version: "disdainful"
2 in Schubert and the other Kosegarten version: "joyless"


  • 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: 50
Word count: 321