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Von den sieben Zechbrüdern

Language: German (Deutsch)

Ich kenne sieben lust'ge Brüder,
Sie sind die durstigsten im Ort;
Die schwuren höchlich, niemals wieder
Zu nennen ein gewisses Wort,
In keinerlei Weise,
Nicht laut und nicht leise.

Es ist das gute Wörtlein Wasser,
Darin doch sonst kein Arges steckt.
Wie kommt's nun, daß die wilden Prasser
Dies schlichte Wort so mächtig schreckt?
Merkt auf! Ich berichte
Die Wundergeschichte.

Einst hörten jene dürst'gen Sieben
Von einem fremden Zechkumpan,
Es sei am Waldgebirge drüben
Ein neues Wirthshaus aufgethan,
Da fließen so reine,
So würzige Weine.

Um einer guten Predigt willen
Hätt' keiner sich vom Platz bewegt;
Doch gilt es, Gläser gut zu füllen,
Sind die Bursche gleich erregt.
« Auf, lasset uns wandern! »
Ruft einer dem andern.

Sie wandern rüstig mit dem Frühen,
Bald steigt die Sonne drückend heiß,
Die Zunge lechzt, die Lippen glühen,
Und von der Stirne rinnt der Schweiß.
Da rieselt so helle
Vom Felsen die Quelle.

Wie trinken sie in vollen Zügen!
Doch als sie kaum den Durst gestillt,
Bezeugen sie ihr Mißvergnügen,
Daß hier nicht Wein, nur Wasser quillt:
« O fades Getränke!
O ärmliche Schwenke! »

In seine vielverwobnen Gänge
Nimmt jetzt der Wald die Pilger auf;
Da stehn sie plötzlich im Gedränge,
Verworrnes Dickicht hemmt den Lauf.
Sie irren, sie suchen,
Sie zanken und fluchen.

Derweil hat sich in finstre Wetter
Die schwüle Sonne tief verhüllt;
Schon rauscht der Regen durch die Blätter,
Es zuckt der Blitz, der Donner brüllt;
Dann kommt es geflossen,
Unendlich ergossen.

Bald wird der Forst zu tausend Inseln,
Zahllose Ströme brechen [vor]1;
Hier hilft kein Toben, [hilft]2 kein Winseln,
Er muß hindurch, der ed'le Chor.
O gründliche Taufe!
O köstliche Traufe!

Vor Alters wurden Menschenkinder
Verwandelt oft in Quell und Fluß;
Auch unsre sieben armen Sünder
Bedroht ein gleicher Götterschluß.
Sie triefen, sie schwellen,
Als würden sie Quellen.

So, mehr geschwommen als gegangen,
Gelangen sie zum Wald hinaus;
Doch keine Schenke sehn sie prangen,
Sie sind auf gradem Weg nach Haus;
Schon rieselt so helle
Vom Felsen die Quelle.

Da ist's, als ob sie rauschend spreche:
« Willkommen, saubre Brüderschaar!
Ihr habt geschmähet, thöricht Freche,
Mein Wasser, das euch labend war.
Nun seid ihr getränket,
Daß ihr daran denket!»

So kam es, daß die sieben Brüder
Das Wasser fürchteten hinfort,
Und daß sie schwuren, niemals wieder
Zu nennen das verwünschte Wort,
In keinerlei Weise,
Nicht laut und nicht leise.


Translation(s): ENG FRE

List of language codes

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Strauss: "hervor"
2 Strauss: "hier hilft"

Submitted by Alberto Pedrotti

Authorship


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) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "Sept frères soiffards", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , title 1: "About the seven drinking brothers", 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 10:01:52
Line count: 78
Word count: 392

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About the seven drinking brothers

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

I know seven merry brothers,
They are the thirstiest ones in the village;
They vowed solemnly, never again
To utter a certain word,
In no fashion whatsoever,
Not loudly and not quietly.

It is the good little word “water”,
In which otherwise no evil dwells.
How is it then, that these wild wastrels
Are so mightily frightened by this simple word?
Listen up!  I shall relate
This wondrous tale.

Once upon a time those thirsty seven
Heard from an unknown drinking companion
That along the forested mountains yonder
A new tavern had opened,
Where flowed such pure,
Such flavourful wines.

For the sake of a good sermon
None of them would have moved from their place;
But when it concerns filling the glasses well,
The lads are immediately roused.
“Get up, let us wander!”
One calls to the other.

They wander lustily in the early morning,
Soon the sun rises, oppressively hot,
Their tongues are parched, their lips are burning,
From their brows runs sweat.
Lo, from the crag there trickles
So brightly a water-spring.

How they drink in great gulps!
But they have barely slaked their thirst,
When they aver their displeasure
That here not wine, but water bubbles forth:
“O insipid drink!
O pathetic exchange!”

The forest now swallows the pilgrims
Up into its intertwined paths;
Suddenly they find themselves standing in the crush [of the trees]
Tortuous thickets prevent their continuing.
They stray about, they search,
They bicker and curse.

In the meantime the humid sun has
Hidden itself in dark storms;
Already the rain is rustling through the leaves,
Lightning flashes, thunder roars;
Then it comes flowing down,
Unendingly pouring forth.

Soon the forest becomes a thousand islands,
Countless rivers burst forth;
No raging helps in this situation, no whimpering,
The noble lads must simply get through it.
O thorough baptism!
O precious dunking!

In olden times humans were
Often transformed into springs and rivers;
Our seven poor sinners, too,
Are threatened by the same resolve of the gods.
They drip, they swell,
As if they were become water-springs.

Thus, more swimming than walking,
They make it out of the forest;
But they see no tavern resplendent before them,
They are on the path that leads straight home;
Already from the crag there trickles
So brightly the water-spring.

Suddenly it seems as if it were speaking in its trickling:
“Welcome, you tidy collection of brothers!
You idiotic impertinent ones, you railed
Against my water that refreshed you.
Now you are soaked,
So that you remember it!”

Thus it transpired that the seven brothers
Feared water ever after,
And that they vowed, never again
To utter that confounded word,
In no fashion whatsoever,
Not loudly and not quietly.


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Authorship

  • 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
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Johann Ludwig Uhland (1787 - 1862), "Von den sieben Zechbrüdern" FRE
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Richard Georg Strauss. Go to the text.

 

Text added to the website: 2014-09-17.
Last modified: 2014-09-17 23:34:48
Line count: 78
Word count: 451