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I went to the Garden of Love

Language: English

I went to the Garden of Love,
and saw what I never had seen:
A chapel was built in the midst,
where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this chapel were shut,
and "Thou shalt not" writ over the door;
So I turn'd to the Garden of Love, 
that so many, many sweet flowers bore;

And I saw it was filled with graves,
and tombstones where flowers should be;
and priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
and binding with briars my joys and desires.

Translation(s): 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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , "Der Garten der Liebe", 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: 12
Word count: 91

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Der Garten der Liebe

Language: German (Deutsch) after the English

Zum Garten der Liebe ich ging
und sah, was noch nie ich gesehn;
dort, wo ich einst glücklich gespielt,
kam eine Kapelle zu stehn.

Und verschlossen war'n Tür und Pfort',
„Du sollst nicht“ stand über dem Tor;
So eilt ich zum Garten fort -
viel Blüten bracht’ einst er hervor.

Und ich schaute auf Gräber in Reih’n
und Steine, wo Blühen sollt’ sein;
Sah Pfaffen in Schwarz umrunden den Platz,
mit Dornen umfangen mein sinnlich’ Verlangen.

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.


  • Singable 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 Garden of Love", appears in Songs of Innocence and Experience, in Songs of Experience, no. 16, first published 1794
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): George Antheil, Maximilian Beckschäfer, William Bolcom, Norman Curtis, David Campbell Dorward, Vincent Sauter Frohne, Ole Carsten Green, Gary Michael Higginson, Bo Holten, Joan Littlejohn, Michael Richard Miller, John Mitchell, Tage Nielsen, Poul Rovsing Olsen, Solomon Pimsleur, Elie Siegmeister, Øistein Sommerfeldt, John Austin Sykes, Michael Thiele, Carl Paul Vollrath, Judith Lang Zaimont. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2014-09-15 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2014-09-15 09:02:32

Line count: 12
Word count: 76