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I was angry with my friend

Language: English

I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I water'd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine.

And into my garden stole
When the night had veil'd the pole,
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretch'd beneath the tree.

Translation(s): FRE GER

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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)

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Un arbre empoisonné", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "Ein Giftbaum", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:21
Line count: 16
Word count: 101

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Ein Giftbaum

Language: German (Deutsch) after the English

Auf meinen Freund hatt’ ich ’ne Wut:
Ich ließ sie raus, nun geht’s mir gut.
Hab sie bei meinem Feind verhehlt,
worauf sie weiter in mir schwelt.

Mit bangen Tränen nährt ich sie
am Abend und schon in der Früh,
mit warmem Lächeln, sanftem Blick,
mit Heuchelei, mit List und Tück.

So wuchs die Wut am Tag, zur Nacht,
bis pralle Frucht sie hat gebracht;
mein Feind sah ihren hellen Schein,
gewärtig, diese Frucht sei mein,

er sich in meinen Garten stahl
zur Nacht, die sternenlos zumal:
Erfreut sah ich am nächsten Tag,
den Feind, der unterm Baume lag.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The material directly above is protected by copyright and appears here by special permission. If you wish to copy it and distribute it, you must obtain permission or you will be breaking the law. Once you have permission, you must give credit to the author and display the copyright symbol ©. Copyright infringement is a criminal offense under international law.


  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2014 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann. Contact:
    <BKottmann (AT)>

    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:
    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on
  • a text in English by William Blake (1757 - 1827), "The poison tree", appears in Songs of Innocence and Experience, in Songs of Experience, no. 21, first published 1794 FRE
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): William Alwyn, George Antheil, Athanasios Aronis, William Bolcom, Hayg Boyadjian, Benjamin Britten, Elyse Donathan Curtis, Sharon Davis, Ole Carsten Green, Christine Jurasek, Tõnu Kalam, David Stevenson Kechley, David Krane, Beverly Jean Magnuson, Sarah L. Rodgers, Masters van Someren-Godfery, John Austin Sykes, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Richard Wernick, James N. Wise. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2014-05-18.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:05:33
Line count: 16
Word count: 99