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Songs

Der Kreuzzug

by Franz Schubert

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Text & Translation

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Der Kreuzzug
German source: Karl Gottfried von Leitner

Ein Münich steht in seiner Zell
Am Fenstergitter grau,
Viel Rittersleut in Waffen hell
Die reiten durch die Au.

Sie singen Lieder frommer Art
In schönem, ernsten Chor,
Inmitten fliegt, von Seide zart,
Die Kreuzesfahn empor.

Sie steigen an dem Seegestad
Das hohe Schiff hinan,
Es läuft hinweg auf grünem Pfad,
Ist bald nur wie ein Schwan.

Der Münich steht am Fenster noch,
Schaut ihnen nach hinaus:
Ich bin, wie ihr, ein Pilger doch,
Und bleib ich gleich zu Haus.

Des Lebens Fahrt durch Wellen trug
Und heissen Wüstensand,
Es ist ja auch ein Kreuzeszug
In das gelobte Land.

The Crusade
English translation © Richard Wigmore

A monk stands in his cell
at the grey window-grating;
a band of knights in shining armour
comes riding through the meadows.

They sing holy songs
in fine, solemn chorus;
in their midst the banner of the Cross,
made of delicate silk, flies aloft.

At the shore they climb
aboard the tall ship.
It sails away over the green waters,
and soon seems but a swan.

The monk still stands at the window,
gazing out after them:
‘I am, after all, a pilgrim like you,
although I remain at home.

‘Life’s journey through the treacherous waves
and the burning desert sands,
is also a crusade
into the Promised Land.’

Der Kreuzzug
German source: Karl Gottfried von Leitner

The Crusade
English source: Richard Wigmore

Ein Münich steht in seiner Zell
A monk stands in his cell
Am Fenstergitter grau,
at the grey window-grating;
Viel Rittersleut in Waffen hell
a band of knights in shining armour
Die reiten durch die Au.
comes riding through the meadows.

Sie singen Lieder frommer Art
They sing holy songs
In schönem, ernsten Chor,
in fine, solemn chorus;
Inmitten fliegt, von Seide zart,
in their midst the banner of the Cross,
Die Kreuzesfahn empor.
made of delicate silk, flies aloft.

Sie steigen an dem Seegestad
At the shore they climb
Das hohe Schiff hinan,
aboard the tall ship.
Es läuft hinweg auf grünem Pfad,
It sails away over the green waters,
Ist bald nur wie ein Schwan.
and soon seems but a swan.

Der Münich steht am Fenster noch,
The monk still stands at the window,
Schaut ihnen nach hinaus:
gazing out after them:
Ich bin, wie ihr, ein Pilger doch,
‘I am, after all, a pilgrim like you,
Und bleib ich gleich zu Haus.
although I remain at home.

Des Lebens Fahrt durch Wellen trug
‘Life’s journey through the treacherous waves
Und heissen Wüstensand,
and the burning desert sands,
Es ist ja auch ein Kreuzeszug
is also a crusade
In das gelobte Land.
into the Promised Land.’

Composer

Franz Schubert

Franz Peter Schubert was an late Classical and early Romantic composer. He produced a vast oeuvre during his short life, composing more the 600 vocal works (largely Lieder), and well as several symphonies, operas, and a large body of piano music. He…

Poet

Karl Gottfried von Leitner

Karl (or Carl) Gottfried Ritter von Leitner ( was an Austrian author and publicist from Graz, Styria, Austria. From 1837 to 1854 he was the first Secretary to the Estates in Styria. He was the editor of the newspaper "Steiermark Zeitschrift"…

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