You can help us modernize! The present website has been online for a very long time and we want to bring it up to date. As of May 6, we are $2,380 away from our goal of $15,000 to fund the project. The fully redesigned site will be better for mobile, easier to read and navigate, and ready for the next decade. Please give today to join dozens of other supporters in making this important overhaul possible!

The LiederNet Archive

Much of our material is not in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission.
Printing texts or translations without the name of the author or translator is also illegal.
You must use the copyright symbol © when you reprint copyright-protected material.

For more information, contact us at the following address:
licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
Please read the instructions below the translations before writing!
In your e-mail, always include the names of the translators if you wish to reprint something.

Die Spinnerin

Language: German (Deutsch)

Als ich still und ruhig spann,
Ohne nur zu stocken,
Trat ein schöner junger Mann
Nahe mir zum Rocken.

Lobte, was zu loben war,
Sollte das was schaden?
Mein dem Flachse gleiches Haar,
Und den gleichen Faden.

Ruhig war er nicht dabei
Ließ es nicht beim Alten;
Und der Faden riß entzwey,
Den ich lang' erhalten.

Und des Flachses Stein-Gewicht
Gab noch viele Zahlen;
Aber, ach ich konnte nicht
Mehr mit ihnen prahlen.

Als ich sie zum Weber trug
Fühlt' ich was sich regen,
Und mein armes Herze schlug
Mit geschwindern Schlägen.

Nun, beim heißen Sonnenstich,
Bring' ich's auf die Bleiche,
Und mit Mühe bück' ich mich
Nach dem nächsten Teiche.

Was ich in dem Kämmerlein
Still und fein gesponnen,
Kommt - wie kann es anders seyn? -
Endlich an die Sonnen.

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE

List of language codes

Confirmed with Goethe's Werke, Vollständige Ausgabe letzter Hand, Erster Band, Stuttgart und Tübingen, in der J.G.Cottaschen Buchhandlung, 1827, pages 202-203; and with Göthe's neue Schriften. Siebenter Band. Berlin. Bei Johann Friedrich Unger. 1800, pages 63-64.

Submitted by Richard Morris and Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]


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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "La filadora", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "De spinster", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , "The spinner", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "La fileuse", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2017-06-19 05:55:26

Line count: 28
Word count: 132

Gentle Reminder
This website began in 1995 as a personal project, and I have been working on it full-time without a salary since 2008. Our research has never had any government or institutional funding, so if you found the information here useful, please consider making a donation. Your gift is greatly appreciated.
     - Emily Ezust

The spinner

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

As I still und calmly spun,
Without even stopping,
A handsome young man
Approached me at my distaff.

He praised me, as praise was due;
Could that do any harm?
On my flaxen hair, matching [the thread],
And on the flaxen thread.

But he wasn’t content with that,
And wouldn’t let well enough alone;
And the thread snapped into,
Which I had been working on for a long time.

And the flax’s stone-weight
Produced many more threads;
But, alas! I could no longer
Boast about them.

When I took them to the weaver,
I felt something stir,
And my poor heart beat
With a quicker pulse.

Now, in the scorching sun,
I bring out my work to bleach it,
And in pain, I bend myself
Over the nearest pool.

What I, in my little room,
Spun so quietly and finely,
Will see - how can it be otherwise? -
Finally the light of day.

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 German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2016 by Laura Prichard, (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.


    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832), "Die Spinnerin", written <<1795, first published 1800 CAT DUT FRE
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Friedrich Adrian Götzloff, Johann Friedrich Reichardt, Ferdinand Ries, Franz Peter Schubert, Václav Jan Křtitel Tomášek. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2016-02-08 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2016-02-08 09:49:23

Line count: 28
Word count: 154