Denn es gehet dem Menschen wie dem Vieh (Johannes Brahms)

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  • CPDL #19605:        (Sibelius 4)
Editor: John K. Patterson (submitted 2009-06-07).   Score information: Letter, 6 pages, 74 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: original key (d minor). MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: Denn es gehet dem Menschen wie dem Vieh, Op. 121, No. 1
Composer: Johannes Brahms

Number of voices: 1v   Voicing: Baritone solo
Genre: SacredLied

Language: German
Instruments: Piano

First published: 1896

Description: #1 of Vier ernste Gesänge (Johannes Brahms)

External websites:

Original text and translations

German.png German text

Denn es gehet dem Menschen wie dem Vieh,
wie dies stirbt, so stirbt er auch;
und haben alle einerlei Odem;
und der Mensch hat nichts mehr denn das Vieh:
denn es ist alles eitel, denn es ist alles eitel.
Es fährt alles an einen Ort;
es ist alles von Staub gemacht,
und wird wieder zu Staub.
Wer weiß, ob der Geist des Menschen aufwärts fahre,
und der Odem des Viehes unterwärts unter die Erde?
Darum sahe ich, daß nichts bessers ist,
denn daß der Mensch fröhlich sei in seiner Arbeit;
denn das ist sein Teil.
Denn wer will ihn dahin bringen, daß er sehe,
was nach ihm geschehen wird?

English.png English translation

For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?
Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?

Dutch.png Dutch translation

Want mensen en dieren ademen allebei dezelfde lucht in en sterven ook allebei. De mensheid heeft in feite dus niets voor op de dierenwereld; wat zinloos eigenlijk!
Zij gaan allemaal naar dezelfde plaats; het stof waaruit zij kwamen en waarnaar zij ook weer moeten terugkeren.
Want wie kan bewijzen dat de geest van de mensen opstijgt en de geest van de dieren neerdaalt in het stof?
Op die manier kwam ik erachter dat er voor een mens niets beters bestaat dan vreugde te scheppen in zijn werk, want daarom is hij hier. Niemand kan hem opnieuw tot leven brengen om te genieten van wat in de toekomst ligt.

Portuguese.png Portuguese translation

Pois o que sucede aos filhos dos homens, isso mesmo também sucede aos brutos; uma e a mesma coisa lhes sucede; como morre um, assim morre o outro; todos têm o mesmo fôlego; e o homem não tem vantagem sobre os brutos; porque tudo é vaidade.
Todos vão para um lugar; todos são pó, e todos ao pó tornarão.
Quem sabe se o espír##ito dos filhos dos homens vai para cima, e se o espírito dos brutos desce para a terra?
Pelo que tenho visto que não há coisa melhor do que alegrar-se o homem nas suas obras; porque esse é o seu quinhão; pois quem o fará voltar para ver o que será depois dele?