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