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Die frühe Liebe

Language: German (Deutsch)

[Schon im bunten Knabenkleide]1,
Pflegten hübsche Mägdelein
Meine liebste Augenweide,
Mehr als Pupp' und Ball, zu sein.

Ich vergaß der Vogelnester,
Warf mein Steckenpferd ins Gras,
Wenn am Baum bei meiner Schwester
Eine schöne Dirne saß;

Freute mich der muntern Dirne,
Ihres rothen Wangenpaars,
Ihres Mundes, ihrer Stirne,
Ihres blonden Lockenhaars;

[Blickt' auf Busentuch und Mieder,
Hinterwärts gelehnt am Baum;
Streckte dann ins Gras mich nieder,
Dicht an ihres Kleides Saum.]2

Was ich weiland that als Knabe,
Werd' ich wahrlich immer thun,
Bis ich werd' im kühlen Grabe
Neben meinen Vätern ruhn.

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE

List of language codes

F. Schubert sets stanzas 1-4

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von Ludewig Heinrich Christoph Hölty. Besorgt durch seine Freunde Friederich Leopold Grafen zu Stolberg und Johann Heinrich Voß. Carlsruhe, bey Christian Gottlieb Schmieder, 1784, pages 142-143; and with Poetische Blumenlese für das Jahr 1777. Herausgegeben von Joh. Heinr. Voß. Hamburg, bey Carl Ernst Bohn, page 166.

This is the version of Hölty's poem heavily reworked by Voß. For the original version, with the title Minnehuldigung, see below.

1 Hölty/Voß (Musenalmanach 1777): "Seit dem ersten Flügelkleide"
2 Hölty/Voß (Musenalmanach 1777):
Immer beym Kalmäusern fielen
Mir die Dirnen ein, und frisch
Warf ich Cäsarn und Virgilen
Und den Donat untern Tisch.

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)

Another version of this text exists in the database.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "L’amor primerenc", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Vroege liefde", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , "Young love", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Amour précoce", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2017-07-29 01:33:03
Line count: 20
Word count: 92

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Amour précoce

Language: French (Français) after the German (Deutsch)

Déjà en habits colorés de garçon
Sur les jolies filles j'aimais
Jeter mes yeux
Plutôt que sur les poupées ou les ballons.

J'oubliais les nids d'oiseaux
Et jetais mon cheval de bois dans l'herbe
Si sous l'arbre près de ma sœur
Était assise une belle jeune fille.

La joyeuse jeune fille me réjouissait
Par ses joues rouges,
Sa bouche, son front,
Ses boucles blondes.

Je regardais sa blouse et son corsage,
Quand elle se penchait contre l'arbre ;
Puis je m'étirais sur l'herbe
Près de l'ourlet de sa robe.

(Ce que j'ai fait autrefois enfant,
Je voudrais toujours vraiment le faire ;
Jusqu'à ce que je sois moi-même dans une tombe froide
Reposant près de mes ancêtres.)

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  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to French (Français) copyright © 2016 by Guy Laffaille, (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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Based on
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Ludwig Heinrich Christoph Hölty (1748 - 1776), "Die frühe Liebe", written 1773, first published 1777 CAT DUT ENG
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Georg Christoph Grossheim, Antonio Rosetti, as Anton Rösler, Franz Peter Schubert. Go to the text.
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Johann Heinrich Voss (1751 - 1826), "Die frühe Liebe", written 1773, first published 1777 CAT DUT ENG
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Georg Christoph Grossheim, Antonio Rosetti, as Anton Rösler, Franz Peter Schubert. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2016-06-03.
Last modified: 2016-06-03 23:38:47
Line count: 20
Word count: 117