Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Der Maien kommt! - Da blüht es an den Bäumen,
   Da spielt das Reh, da singt die Nachtigall.
   Isula kommt!  Da bebt aus süßen Träumen
   Das Lied des Troubadours zum Saitenschall.
   Und fragt Ihr was er hofft? Und was er sich ersehne?
   Ach nichts, als schön'res Leid und süßrer Wehmuth Thräne.
Sie naht heran, sie weiß nicht, welch ein Leben
   Vor ihrem Blick in meinem Busen quillt.
   Was kann der arme Troubadour ihr geben?
   Er hat sein Schwert, sein adlich Wappenschild,
   Sein rühmlich Zitterspiel und heitres Dichtersinnen;
   All andres riß im Sturm das Schicksal ihm von hinnen.
Mag Sturm und Schicksal mit der Beute spielen,
   Mag hülflos stehn und arm der Rittersohn,
   Er darf mit Sangespfeilen fröhlich zielen,
   Und trifft sein Ziel, und Kränze sind sein Lohn.
   Und spräch' Isulas Mund: Dein Lied hat mir gefallen,
   Das wär der schönste Kranz, von seinen Kränzen allen.

Confirmed with Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué, "Folko und Isula. Lieder eines Troubadours," Taschenbuch für das Jahr 1814. Der Liebe und Freundschaft gewidmet, herausgegeben von Dr. St. Schütze, Frankfurt am Mayn: bei Friedrich Wilman, [1814], page 97


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):

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , title 1: "Prelude", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
May is coming! -- Then it shall blooming upon the trees,
  Then the deer shall play, then the nightingale shall sing.
  Isula is coming!  Then from out of sweet dreams shall tremble
  The song of the troubadour to the ringing of the strings.
  And if you ask what he hopes?  And what he yearns for?
  Ah nothing but more beautiful suffering and sweeter tears of melancholy.
She nears, she does not know what a life
  Swells in my bosom at the sight of her gaze.
  What can the poor troubadour give her?
  He has his sword, his noble coat of arms,
  His renowned zither-playing and merry poetic thoughts;
  All else was torn from him by the storms of fate.
May storm and fate play with their plunder,
  May the son of knights stand helpless and poor,
  He may joyfully take aim with arrows of song,
  And hits his target, and wreaths are his reward.
  And should Isula’s lips speak: Your song has pleased me,
  Then that would be the most beautiful wreath of them all.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2016 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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