Attention! Some of this material is not in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission. It is also illegal to reprint copyright texts or translations without the name of the author or translator.
To inquire about permissions and rates, contact Emily Ezust at
If you wish to reprint translations, please make sure you include the names of the translators in your email. They are below each translation.
Note: You must use the copyright symbol © when you reprint copyright-protected material.
Um Mitternacht ging ich, nicht eben gerne, Klein kleiner Knabe, jenen Kirchhof hin Zu Vaters Haus, des Pfarrers; Stern an Sterne Sie leuchteten doch alle gar zu schön; Um Mitternacht. Wenn ich dann ferner in des Lebens Weite Zur Liebsten mußte, mußte, weil sie zog, Gestirn und Nordschein über mir im Streite, Ich gehend, kommend Seligkeiten sog; Um Mitternacht. Bis dann zu letzt des vollen Mondes Helle So klar und deutlich mir ins [Finstere]1 drang, Auch der Gedanke willig, sinnig, schnelle Sich ums Vergangne wie ums Künftige schlang; Um Mitternacht.
About the headline (FAQ)View original text (without footnotes)
1 Hiller: "Finst're"
- by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832), "Um Mitternacht", appears in Goethe's Werke. Vollständige Ausgabe, letzter Hand, Band III, in 1. Lyrisches [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):
- by (Edward) Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976), "Um Mitternacht" [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Ferdinand von Hiller (1811 - 1885), "Um Mitternacht", 1827 [ voice and piano ] [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Ernst Pepping (1901 - 1981), "Um Mitternacht", 1946, published 1949 [ voice and piano ], from Haus- und Trostbuch, no. 3 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Karl Friedrich Zelter (1758 - 1832), "Um Mitternacht", 1818 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Hermann Karl Josef Zilcher (1881 - 1948), "Um Mitternacht ging ich", op. 51 no. 8, published 1923 [ voice and piano ], from Goethe-Lieder, no. 8 [sung text not yet checked]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "At midnight", copyright © 2013
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "À minuit", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- SPA Spanish (Español) (José Miguel Llata) , "A medianoche", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Johann Winkler
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 15
Word count: 90
At midnight I would go, not very happily, A small, small boy, across that churchyard to Father's house - the parson's; star upon star, they shone so beautifully, every one of them, At midnight. When, later then and further into the vastness of life, I had to, had to, go to my beloved, for I was drawn to her; the stars battling with the Northern lights above me, I inhaled sheer bliss as I came and went, At midnight. Until, at last, the light of the full moon sank clearly and precisely into my darkness and my thoughts, willingly and sensibly, quickly entwined both past and future at once, At midnight.
- Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2013 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 -- https://www.lieder.net/
For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.
- a text in German (Deutsch) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832), "Um Mitternacht", appears in Goethe's Werke. Vollständige Ausgabe, letzter Hand, Band III, in 1. Lyrisches
This text was added to the website: 2013-09-20
Line count: 15
Word count: 111