Category Archives: Eichendorff

Josef Freiherr von Eichendorff: “Forest Talk”

Excerpt, “Gems of German Lyrics:  Consisting of Selections from Ruckert, Lenau, Chamisso, Freiligrath and Others.”  Translated into English Verse by Henry D. Wireman.  1869.




It is so late, it cold hath grown,

Why through the woods dost ride alone

So late at night, on such a ride.

I’ll lead thee home, my pretty bride!


“Men’s artful ways are many, pain

My heart hath broken, torn in twain;

The forest horn sounds far and near,

Away! Thou’lt know me but to fear.”


The steed is decked so wondrous fine,

The rider looks so fair, divine;

Protect me, God! I know thee now,

The witch, Oh, Lorelei art thou!


“I am, on cliffs my castle stands,

A view of ‘Father Rhine’ commands.

It is so late, it cold doth grow,

From hence thou nevermore wilt go!”





Eichendorff: “Night is Like a Quiet Sea”

Josef Karl Benedikt von Eichendorff (1788-1857)

by Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel (1805-1847) “Nacht ist wie ein stilles Meer,” 1846 Hugo Wolf (1860-1903), “Die Nacht”, Eichendorff Lieder, no. 19.Translation © Emily Ezust, Lied & Art Song Texts Page.


Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel


Nacht ist wie ein stilles Meer

Night is like a quiet sea:
joy and sorrow and the laments of love
become tangled up
in the gentle throbbing of the waves.
Desires are like clouds
that sail through the quiet space:
who can recognize in the mild wind
whether they are thoughts or dreams?
Even if my heart and mouth now are closed,
that once so easily lamented to the stars,
still, at the bottom of my heart
there remains the gentle throbbing of those waves.
Moonrise by the Sea
Caspar David FRIEDRICH
c. 1822


Eichendorff: “Your Blissful, Wonderful Image”

“Dein Bildnis wunderselig” by Josef Karl Benedikt von Eichendorff (1788-1857), “Intermezzo” from Sängerleben. Set by Robert Schumann (1810-1856), “Intermezzo”, op. 39 no. 2, from Liederkries, no. 2. Translation © Emily Ezust, Lied & Art Song Texts Page.



Your blissful, wonderful image
I have in my heart's depths;
it looks so freshly and joyously
at me in every moment.
My heart sings mutely to itself
an old, beautiful song
that soars into the air
and hastens to your side.

Eichendorff: “The Nun and the Knight”

By Josef Karl Benedikt von Eichendorff (1788-1857), “Die Nonne und der Ritter”, from Gedichte (Ausgabe 1841), in Romanzen.
Set by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), “Die Nonne und der Ritter”, op. 28 (Vier Duette) no. 1 (1860).Translation © Emily Ezust, Lied & Art Song Texts Page.

Die Nonne und der Ritter

As the world goes to rest,
my yearning awakens with the stars;
I must listen in the cool
as the waves roar below!
"I am brought here from far away by waves
that beat so mournfully against the land,
beneath the bars of your window.
Lady, do you still know this Knight?"
It is as if strange voices
are floating through the mild air;
once again the wind has taken them away, -
alas, my heart is so anxious!
"Over there lies your ruined castle
lamenting in its desolate halls;
the way the woods greeted me,
I felt as though I must die."
Old sounds burst forth,
sunk long since in time;
melancholy falls on me once again,
and I feel like weeping from my heart.
"Over the wood lightning flashes from afar,
where they are fighting over the grave of Christ;
There will I steer my ship,
and there will everything end!"
A ship leaves with a man upon it;
false night, you bewilder the mind!
Farewell, world! May God protect
those who wander madly in darkness!


Eichendorff: “I travel silently…”

By Josef Karl Benedikt von Eichendorff (1788-1857) from “Gedichte (Ausgabe 1841)” in Wanderlieder, in Der verliebte Reisende, no 1.Set by Hugo Wolf (1860-1903), “In der Fremde I”, 1881.Translation © Emily Ezust, Lied & Art Song Texts Page.

Da fahr’ ich still im Wagen

I travel silently in the coach -
you are so far from me -
but wherever it might take me,
I remain still with you.
There fly by forests, gorges
and lovely deep valleys,
and larks high in the sky,
as if your voice were calling.
The sun shines merrily
far beyond the area;
I am so happy and so tearful,
and I sing silently inside.
From the mountains, the path goes downward,
the posthorn rings out below;
my soul grows so cheerful
and I greet you from the bottom of my heart.


Eichendorff: “I Wander through the Quiet Night”

Josef Karl Benedikt von Eichendorff (1788-1857)


Set by Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel (1805-1847), “Nachtwanderer,” op. 7, no. 1. Translation © Emily Ezust, Lied & Art Song Texts Page.

Ich wandre durch die stille Nacht

I wander through the quiet night;
the moon floats so secretly and gently,
often out from a dark cover of clouds.
And here and there in the valley
a nightingale awakens
but then all is gray and still again.
O wonderful nightsong
from distant parts - the rushing of a stream
and the soft shuddering in the dark trees
confuse my thoughts.
My clamorous singing here
is only like a cry from my dreams.
My singing is a cry,
only a cry from my dreams.

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