by Robert Greene (1558 - 1592)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee
Language: English 
Available translation(s): GER
Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee;
When thou art old there's grief enough for thee.
      Mother's wag, pretty boy,
      Father's sorrow, father's joy;
      When thy father first did see
      Such a boy by [him]1 and me,
      He was glad, I was woe;
      Fortune changèd made him so,
      When he left his pretty boy,
      Last his sorrow, first his joy.

Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee;
When thou art old there's grief enough for thee.
      Streaming tears that never stint,
      Like pearl-drops from a flint,
      Fell by course from his eyes,
      That one another's place supplies;
      Thus he grieved in every part,
      Tears of blood fell from his heart,
      When he left his pretty boy,
      Father's sorrow, father's joy.

Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee;
When thou art old there's grief enough for thee.
      The wanton smiled, father wept,
      Mother cried, baby leapt;
      More he crow'd, more we cried,
      Nature could not sorrow hide:
      He must go, he must kiss
      Child and mother, baby bliss,
      For he left his pretty boy,
      Father's sorrow, father's joy.
Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee,
When thou art old there 's grief enough for thee.

B. Britten sets stanzas 1, 3

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1 Biggs: "you"

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):

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "Sephestias Wiegenlied", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
Sephestias Wiegenlied
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Heul’ nicht, mein Wildfang, lächle auf meinem Schoß;
bist du erst alt, wird dir Leid genug zum Los.
	 Mutters Schalk, hübscher Bub,
	 Vaters Kummer, Vaters Freud’;
	 Als dein Vater erstmals dich,
	 seinen, meinen Bub erblickt’,
	 freute er sich, mir war’s Leid;
	 doch das Blatt hat sich gewandt 
         als er fortging, hübscher Bub,
	 war’s ihm nicht Kummer, sondern Freud’.






[...]





Heul’ nicht, mein Wildfang, lächle auf meinem Schoß;
bist du erst alt, wird dir Leid genug zum Los.
	 Wildfang lächelte, Vater weinte,
	 Mutter weinte, Baby hüpfte;
 	 je mehr es juchzte, desto mehr weinten wir,
	 die Natur konnte den Kummer nicht verbergen:
	 Er muss gehn und küsst beid’,
	 Kind und Mutter, Kinderglück,
	 ließ den hübschen Bub zurück,
	 Vaters Kummer, Vaters Freud’.

Authorship

  • 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) t-online.de

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