Wandrers Nachtlied is the title of two different poems written by German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The 2nd poem was written in 1780. This is the one we’re featuring here. It’s considered by many to be the most beautiful poem in the German language.
Here you can read the original poem and listen to an mp3 recording. After that, you’ll find a modern English translation, followed by a well-known translation from the 1800’s by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Then you can watch a video performance of the poem being sung in an arrangement by Schubert.
Über allen Gipfeln
In allen Wipfeln
Kaum einen Hauch;
Die Vögelein schweigen im Walde.
Warte nur, balde
Ruhest du auch.
Poem recited by Raphael.
Here’s a modern English Translation (by Lisa):
Over all mountaintops
In all treetops
Barely a breath;
The little birds are silent in the woods.
Just wait, soon
You will rest too.
Here’s a translation by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1845):
O’er all the hilltops
Is quiet now,
In all the treetops
Hardly a breath;
The birds are asleep in the trees:
Wait, soon like these
Thou too shalt rest.
Wandrers Nachtlied was set to music by Schubert. Here is a performance of it from YouTube. (The lyrics are performed in a slightly different order in this performance. Below you can read the order of the lyrics as sung in the video.)
This article was posted on Monday, December 17th, 2012 at 12:25 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, German, Germany, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Languages, MP3's, MP3's of Poems, Poems, Poems about Death, Poems about Life, Poems about the World, Poetry, Poets, Recordings of Poems, Recordings of Songs, YouTube. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
3 Responses to “Wanderer’s Nightsong – A Poem in German by Goethe”
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December 29th, 2012 at 6:54 pm
Thanks for these selections. I needed them today, and they are just “what the doctor ordered.” Amazing!
November 27th, 2020 at 4:08 pm
This poem has been on my mind lately. Enjoyed the original and the translations!
January 18th, 2023 at 1:45 pm
peace prevails over the peaks
barely a breath troubles the tree-tops
the songsters of the forest are silent
be patient yet: your peace will be punctual enough