May 2, 1772, on his father’s estate of Ober-Wiederstäd (near Eisleben), Germany.

March 25, 1801, at his parents’ home in Weißenfels, Germany.

Alter Friedhof, Weißenfels, Germany.

Novalis (apparently from the name of one of his family’s estates).


Friedrich’s father was Baron Heinrich Ulrich Erasmus von Hardenberg, director of the Saxon Salt Works at Weißenfels. In the fall of 1790, Friedrich entered the University of Jena, then went to Leipzig, and finally to Wittenberg. After concluding his studies, he went, at the end of 1794, to Tennstädt (near Erfurt) to learn administration under Kreisamtmann Just. In the autumn of 1797, he entered the School of Mines at Freiberg, Saxony, and in 1799 went to Artern, at the foot of the Kyffhauser-Berg, to work at the Salt Works there. Soon after, he began to spit blood, and while visiting Dresden, the news of the sudden death of his younger brother brought on a hemorrhage which destroyed all hopes of a recovery. In January 1801, he was moved to his parents’ home in Weißenfels, where he died two months later.

Von Hardenberg’s hymns rose from a time of deep sorrow upon the death of his fiancée, Sophie von Kühn, when his thoughts turned to the faith of his childhood. His parents were his Moravians, and his early education came from a Moravian pastor. His works include:

  1. Es giebt so bange Zeiten
  2. Fern im Osten wird es helle
  3. Ich sag’ es jedem, dass er lebt
    • He Lives! He’s Risen from the Dead
    • I Say to All Men Far and Near
    • I Say to Each Man That He Lives
    • I Say to Everyone, He Lives
    • To Every One I Say
  4. Ich sehe dich in tausen Bildern
  5. Ich weiss nicht was ich suchen könnte
  6. Unter tausen frohen Stunden
  7. Was wär ich ohne dich gewesen
    • Lord! When Thou Mak’st Thy Presence Felt
    • Thou Strong and Loving God in Man
    • Thou Strong and Loving Son of Man
    • What Had I Been if Thou Wert Not
    • What Might I Not Have Been Without Thee
    • What Without Thee, Would I Have Been
    • Without Thee, Lord, What Had We Been
    • Without Thee, What Were I Worth Being
  8. Weinen muss ich, immer weinen
  9. Wenige wissen das Geheimniss der Liebe
  10. Wenn alle untreu werden
    • My Faith to Thee I Break Not
    • Tho’ All Men Faith Had Banished
    • Though All the World Forsake Thee
    • Though All to Thee Were Faithless
    • Though All Were Faithless to Thee
  11. Wenn ich Ihn nur habe
    • If I Have Christ, and Christ Be Mine
    • If I Have Only Him
    • If I Him but Have
    • If I Only Have Thee
    • If Only He Is Mine
    • Oh! Could My Soul Possess His Love
  12. Wenn in bangen, trüben Stunden
  13. Wer einmal, Mutter dich erblickt
  14. Wer einsam sitzin seiner Kammer
  15. Wo bleibst du Trost der ganzen Welt