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Sleep, sleep, beauty bright

Language: English

Sleep, sleep, beauty bright,
Dreaming o'er the joys of night;
Sleep, sleep, in thy sleep
Little sorrows sit and weep.

Sweet babe, in thy face
Soft desires I can trace,
Secret joys and secret smiles,
Little pretty infant wiles.

As thy softest limbs I feel, 
Smiles as of the morning steal 
O'er thy cheek, and o'er thy breast 
Where thy little heart does rest.

O! the cunning wiles that creep 
In thy little heart asleep. 
When thy little heart does wake 
Then the dreadful lightnings break, 

From thy cheek and from thy eye, 
O'er the youthful harvests nigh. 
Infant wiles and infant smiles 
Heaven and Earth of peace beguiles.

Translation(s): GER WEL

List of language codes

B. Britten sets stanzas 1-2, 4-5
J. Carpenter sets stanzas 1-2

About the headline (FAQ)

Submitted by Geoffrey Wieting


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 or adaptations:

  • Also set in Welsh (Cymraeg), a translation by William Evans (1883 - 1968) , under the bardic name "Wil Ifan", copyright © ENG GER by Haydn Morris.
  • Also set in English, [adaptation] by Richard Bamford Lane, Richard Bamford Lane.

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2015, (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: 20
Word count: 109

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Schlaf, schlaf, schönes Kind

Language: German (Deutsch) after the English

Schlaf, schlaf, schönes Kind
Freud’ in deinen Träumen find’;
schlaf, schlaf,  wenig Leid
macht in deinem Schlaf sich breit.

Süßes, ich erspür
zarten Keim der Lust in dir,
Freuden, Lächeln, noch versteckt,
Streiche, künftig ausgeheckt.

Rühre ich dich zärtlich an,
sich des Morgens Lächeln dann
auf Gesicht und Körper legt,
wo dein kleines Herze schlägt.

Ach! Es schleicht sich Tücke, List
in dein Herz, wenn’s schlafend ist.
Wenn dein kleines Herz erwacht,
zuckt’s aus dir mit Blitzes Macht:

Tücke, List setzt unverwandt
dann der Jugend Haus in Brand.
Kindes Lächeln, Kindes List
schüren allseits Zank und Zwist.

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About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "A cradle song" = "Ein Wiegenlied"


  • Singable translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2015 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), "A cradle song", written c1793, appears in Notebook, possibly intended for Songs of Innocence ENG WEL
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Harry Hurlbutt Albino, Athanasios Aronis, Lee Ashton, Ernst Bacon, Granville Ransome Bantock, Sir, Benjamin Britten, Harry Brook, John Callis Brydson, Frederick Handel Candlyn, John Alden Carpenter, John Chorbajian, Rebecca Clarke, Bartley Currie, Brian Blyth Daubney, Duncan W. Dearle, William Edmondstoune Duncan, Thomas Frederick Dunhill, Paul N. Edmonds, Christopher Montague Edmunds, Paul Eisler, Arthur Farwell, Robert James Berkeley Fleming, Eleanor Everest Freer, John Linton Gardner, Percival Garratt, Rosy Auguste Geiger Kullman, Cecil Armstrong Gibbs, Frank Glazer, Richard Hageman, Philip Hagemann, Alfred Matthew Hale, Iain Ellis Hamilton, Fritz Bennicke Hart, Arthur Martinus Hartmann, Basil Harwood, Harold S. Johnson, Dorothy Hill Klotzman, Peter Lamb, Huub de Lange, Sven Lekberg, William H. London, John H. Major, Cameron McGraw, Margaret Starr McLain, Erkki Gustaf Melartin, Robin Humphrey Milford, Oskar Morawetz, Thomas Tertius Noble, George C. Palmer, Alexander Paucker, as Francis Chagrin, John Pointer, Arthur Poyser, Daniel Protheroe, Thomas Rajna, Reginald Redman, Hugh Stevenson Roberton, Sir, Dagmar de Corval Rybner, Charles Villiers Stanford, Sir, Alfred Lionel Stephens, Valma June Streathfield, Phyllis Margaret Duncan Tate, Jack Meredith Tatton, Robert George Thompson, Wesley Allan Ward, Rudolph T. Werther, Felix Harold White, John David White, Maude Valérie White, William Brocklesby Wordsworth. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2015-09-01.
Last modified: 2015-09-01 00:56:16
Line count: 20
Word count: 97