by Karl Gottfried von Leitner (1800 - 1890)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Vor meiner Wiege
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE ITA
Das also, das ist der enge Schrein,
Da [lag ich in Windeln als Kind darein?]1
Da lag ich [gebrechlich, hülflos]2 und stumm,
Und zog nur zum Weinen die Lippen krumm.

Ich konnte nichts fassen mit Händchen zart,
Und war doch gebunden nach [Schelmenart]3;
Ich hatte Füßchen, und lag doch wie lahm,
Bis Mutter an ihre Brust mich nahm.

Dann [lachte ich saugend]4 zu ihr empor,
Sie sang mir von Rosen und Engeln vor.
Sie sang und sie wiegte mich singend in Ruh',
Und küßte mir liebend die Augen zu.

Sie spannte aus [Seide gar dämmerig-grün,
Ein kühliges Zelt hoch über mich hin;]5
[Wann find ich nun]6 wieder solch friedlich Gemach?
Vielleicht, wenn das grüne Gras mein Dach.

O Mutter! lieb Mutter, bleib' lange noch hier;
Wer sänge dann tröstlich von Engeln mir?
Wer küßte mir liebend die Augen zu
Zur langen, zur [letzten und]7 tiefesten Ruh'?

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von Carl Gottfried Ritter von Leitner. Wien, gedruckt bey J. P. Sollinger. 1825, pages 50-51; and with Gedichte von Karl Gottfried Ritter v. Leitner. Zweite sehr vermehrte Auflage. Hannover. Victor Lohse. 1857, page 22.

1 Leitner (1857 edition): "legte man mich als Kind hinein,"; Schubert: "lag ich einstens als Kind darein,"
2 Leitner (1857 edition): "in Windeln hülflos"; Schubert: "gebrechlich, hilflos"
3 Leitner (1857 edition): "Diebesart"
4 Leitner (1857 edition): "lacht' ich säugend"
5 Leitner (1857 edition): "grüner Seide gar kühl / Ein schattiges Zelt mir über den Pfühl."
6 Schubert: "Wo find ich nur"
7 Leitner (1857 edition): "letzten, zur"


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) , "Al meu bressol", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Bij mijn wieg", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "At my cradle", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "À mon berceau", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Davanti alla mia culla", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Richard Morris , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 20
Word count: 146

At my cradle
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
So this is the narrow cabinet
Where once I lay as a child.
There I lay: frail, helpless and unable to speak,
opening my lips only to cry.

I could seize nothing with my delicate little hands,
and yet I was always bound fast like a rogue;
I had tiny feet, yet lay as if I were lame,
until Mother took me and held me to her breast.

 Then I laughed up at her as I suckled;
She sang to me of roses and angels.
She sang and she rocked me to sleep,
and kissed my eyes lovingly closed.

She spread out something of silk: dusky green,
a cool tent high above me.
Where will I ever find again such a peaceful room?
Perhaps when the green grass is my roof!

O Mother, dear Mother, stay awhile yet!
Who else could sing to me so soothingly of angels?
Who else could kiss my eyes lovingly closed,
For the long, deep and final rest?


  • 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: 20
Word count: 163