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An eine junge Freundin

Language: German (Deutsch)

Nie schmückt der Seele süßer Reitz,
Geliebtes Mädchen, Dich,
Sehnt nicht Dein Herz, mit edlem Geitz,
Nach innerm Adel sich.
Ein schlanker Wuchs, ein schön Gesicht,
Es reitzt, allein es fesselt nicht.

Zu schnell entflieht der Schönheit Glanz,
Der Jugendblüthe Pracht,
Flicht Geistesanmuth nicht den Kranz,
Der dann auch lieblich macht,
Wenn Lilien und Rosen fliehn,
Und Falten Wang' und Stirn umziehn.

Der Reitz, den Form und Farbe leiht,
Was wünscht sich ihn Dein Herz?
Verlassen von der Blüthenzeit,
Ergreift Dich herber Schmerz,
Wenn nicht, sobald Dein Reitz erstirbt,
Dein edler Geist dir Freund' erwirbt.

Translation(s): ENG

List of language codes

Confirmed with Gedichte der Frau Elisa von der Recke, gebornen Reichsgräfin von Medem, herausgegeben von C.A. Tiedge, Halle: in der Rengerschen Buchhandlung, 1806, pages 74-75.

Submitted by Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , title 1: "To a young [female] friend", subtitle: "About her wish to be beautiful", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2014-01-23.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:48
Line count: 18
Word count: 95

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To a young [female] friend

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

The sweet allure of the soul, beloved girl,
Shall never adorn you,
If, with gallant fervour, your heart does not
Yearn for inner nobility.
A slender form, a lovely face,
It is alluring, but does not enthrall.

Too quickly the glow of beauty vanishes,
The glory of youth's bloom,
If a charming spirit does not weave the wreath
That then also makes [you] lovely
When lilies and roses fade,
And furrows gather on cheek and brow.

The attraction that is lent by form and colour,
Why does your heart wish for that?
When you have been deserted by time of blooming,
You will be seized with bitter pain
If, as soon as your attraction fades,
Your noble spirit does not win you friends.

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Subtitle: "About her wish to be beautiful"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2014 by Sharon Krebs, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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Based on


Text added to the website: 2014-01-23.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:05:28
Line count: 18
Word count: 123