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Language: Norwegian (Bokmål)

I skogen smågutten gikk dagen lang,
  gikk dagen lang;
der hadde han hørt slik en underlig sang,
  underlig sang.

Gutten en fløyte av selju skar,
  av selju skar -
og prøvde om tonen der inne var,
  der inne var.

Tonen den hvisket og nevnte seg,
  og nevnte seg,
men best om han lydde, den løp sin vei,
  den løp sin vei.

Titt når han sov, den til ham smøg,
  den til ham smøg,
og over hans panne med elskov strøg,
  med elskov strøg,

Ville den fange, og våknet bratt,
  og våknet bratt;
  men tonen hang fast i den bleke natt,
  den bleke natt.

"Herre min Gud, ta meg der inn,
  ta meg der inn,
ti tonen har fått mitt hele sinn,
  mitt hele sinn."

Herren han svarte: "Den er din venn,
  den er din venn;
skjønt aldri en time du eier den,
  du eier en.

Alle de andre dog litt forslår,
  dog litt forslår,
mot denne du søker, men aldri når,
  men aldri når." -

Translation(s): ENG FRE GER

List of language codes

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


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

Settings in other languages:

Other available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "Mélodie", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2009-09-13.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:22
Line count: 32
Word count: 165

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Through the forest the boy wends all day...

Language: English after the Norwegian (Bokmål)

Through the forest the boy wends all day long:
For there he has heard such a wonderful song. 
He carved him a flute of the willow-tree, 
And tried what the tune within it might be. 
The tune came out of it sad and gay; 
But while he listen'd it pass'd away.
He fell asleep, and once more it sung,
And over his forehead it lovingly hung.
He thought he would catch it, and wildly woke;
And the tune in the pale night faded and broke.
"O God! my God! take me up to Thee! 
For the tune Thou hast made is consuming me."
And the Lord God said: "'Tis a friend divine,
Though never one hour shalt thou hold it thine.
Yet all other music is poor and thin
By the side of this which thou never shalt win!"

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with English Verse edited by W. J. Linton and R. H. Stoddard: Translations, New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1883, pages 192-193.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Based on

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

Text added to the website: 2014-02-13.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:05:29
Line count: 16
Word count: 139