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Wer kauft Liebesgötter?

Language: German (Deutsch)

Von allen schönen Waaren,
Zum Markte hergefahren,
Wird keine mehr behagen
Als die wir euch getragen
Aus [fremden]1 Ländern bringen.
O höret was wir singen!
Und seht die schönen Vögel,
Sie stehen zum Verkauf.

Zuerst beseht den großen
Den lustigen, den losen!
Er hüpfet leicht und munter
Von Baum und Busch herunter;
Gleich ist er wieder droben.
Wir wollen ihn nicht loben.
O seht den muntern Vogel!
Er steht hier zum Verkauf.

Betrachtet nun den kleinen,
Er will bedächtig scheinen,
Und doch ist er der Lose,
So gut als wie der Große;
Er zeiget meist im Stillen
Den allerbesten Willen.
Der lose kleine Vogel,
Er steht hier zum Verkauf.

O seht das kleine Täubchen,
Das liebe Turtelweibchen!
Die Mädchen sind so zierlich,
Verständig und manierlich;
Sie mag sich gerne putzen
Und eure Liebe nutzen.
Der kleine, zarte Vogel,
Er steht hier zum Verkauf.

Wir wollen sie nicht loben,
Sie stehn zu allen Proben.
Sie lieben sich das neue;
Doch über ihre Treue
Verlangt nicht Brief und Siegel;
Sie haben alle Flügel.
Wie artig sind die Vögel,
Wie reizend ist der Kauf!

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE

List of language codes

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Goethe's Werke, Vollständige Ausgabe letzter Hand, Erster Band, Stuttgart und Tübingen, in der J.G.Cotta'schen Buchhandlung, 1827, pages 43-44; and with Musen-Almanach fürs Jahr 1796. Herausgegeben von Johann Heinrich Voß. Hamburg bei Carl Ernst Bohn, pages 42-44 (title: "Die Liebesgötter auf dem Markte").

Note (provided by Laura Prichard): This poem was written in 1795 as part of an intended sequel for Die Zauberflöte, as a duet for Papageno and Papagena. The song was composed on 15 August 1815 and first published in 1850.

1 Schubert: "fernen"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator] 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) , "Qui compra déus d’amor?", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Wie koopt liefdesgodjes?", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , "Gods of Love for sale!, or, Who will buy these Cupids?", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Qui achète ces dieux d'amour ?", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2017-06-19 11:49:00

Line count: 40
Word count: 181

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Gods of Love for sale!, or, Who will buy these Cupids?

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Of all the beautiful wares
Brought to the market,
None will please more
Than those we bring you
From faraway lands.
Oh, hear what we’re singing
And see the beautiful birds
For sale!

First check out the large one,
The happy one, the mischievous one!
He hops lightly down
From tree and bush;
And hops right back up again.
We won’t praise him.
Oh, look at the cheerful bird.
He's for sale.

Now look at the small one,
He wants to seem thoughtful,
But he’s mischievous,
Just as much as the big one;
He usually displays, when quiet,
His very best intentions.
This mischievous little bird,
Is for sale.

Oh see this little dove,
The lovely turtledove!
Girls are so dainty,
Understanding and well-mannered;
She likes to groom herself
And encourage your love.
This small, gentle bird,
Is for sale.

We won’t praise them,
You can see for yourself.
They love novelty;
But regarding their fidelity
Don’t ask us to give you our word1;
They all have wings.
How well-behaved are these birds.
How charming a purchase!

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.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 literally: “don’t demand letter and seal” - meaning personal assurance, similar to the English pharse, “signed and sealed"


  • 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), "Wer kauft Liebesgötter?", written 1795, appears in Der Zauberflöte zweiter Teil, first published 1796 CAT DUT FRE
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Johann Andreas Anschütz, Gottlob Bachmann, Johann Christoph Kienlen, Johann Friedrich Reichardt, Franz Peter Schubert, Václav Jan Křtitel Tomášek, Karl Friedrich Zelter. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2016-05-17 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2016-05-17 19:31:36

Line count: 40
Word count: 177