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Language: German (Deutsch)

Ich bin von lockerem Schlage,
Genieß' ohne Trübsinn die Welt,
Mich drückt kein Schmerz, keine Plage,
Mein Frohsinn würzt mir die Tage;
Ihn hab' ich zum Schild mir gewählt.

Mit Reichthum pflegt man zu prahlen,
Man kaufet sich Freuden dafür,
Schlürft sie aus goldenen Schalen,
I c h  darf die Freuden nicht zahlen;
Denn, wahrlich, sie ruhen in mir.

Das Glück treibt elende Künste,
Steht öfters mit Schurken im Bund;
Lohnt sie mit reichem Gewinnste,
Das kränkt den Mann vom Verdienste; -
I c h  seh' es mit lachendem Mund.

Fortuna pflegt sich zu wenden,
Das hab' ich schon lange gewußt,
Weiß heute Güter zu spenden,
Und morgen sie zu entwenden,
Und doppelt schmerzt dann ihr Verlust.

Cupido mag auf mich zielen,
Ich lache nur seiner Gewalt;
Mit Weibern will ich nur spielen; -
Mir bleibt doch Eine aus Vielen,
Auf diese Art tröst' ich mich bald.

Gelehrte Schnurpfeiffereyen
Sind wahrlich entbehrlicher Tand;
Man kann auf Erden sich freuen
Auch ohne darüber zu schreyen,
Wie, oder woraus sie entstand.

Begier nach Ehren und Würden,
Ist auch nicht entfernet mein Fall,
Mit jeden neueren Zierden
Erscheinen neue Begierden,
Genügsamkeit ist nur ein Schall.

Den Tod mahl' ich nach Gefallen
Als Jüngling mit heiterm Gesicht,
Und muß hinüber ich wallen
In jene düsteren Hallen, -
Wohlan! - Mich schrecken sie nicht.

Nicht Thränenweiden und Krüge
Setzt an meinem Grabe mir dann;
Ein kleiner Stein thut Genüge,
Und sag' dem Wand'rer: Hier liege
Ein freyer, stets fröhlicher Mann.

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE

List of language codes

Confirmed with Selam. Ein Almanach für Freunde des Mannigfaltigen auf das Jahr 1813. Herausgegeben von I.F.Castelli. Wien, gedruckt und im Verlage bey Anton Strauß, pages 207-209.

Note: Castelli published a slightly different version of this poem in his Poetische Kleinigkeiten; see below.

Note: Schubert wrote only stanza 1 into his manuscript, but put a repeat mark at the end. The first edition (A.Diabelli & Co.) added two not authentic stanzas of an unknown author:

Ich grüsse froh jeden Morgen,
Der nur neue Freuden mir bringt,
Fehlt Geld mir, muss ich wohl borgen,
Doch dies macht niemals mir Sorgen,
Weil stets jeder Wunsch mir gelingt.
Bei Mädchen gerne gesehen,
Quält Eifersucht niemals mein Herz;
Schmollt eine, lass ich sie stehen,
Vor Liebesgram zu vergehen,
Das wäre ein bitterer Scherz.

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) , "Geni alegre", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "De levensgenieter", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "A cheerful attitude", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Bonne humeur", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2019-03-08 06:26:38
Line count: 45
Word count: 245

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A cheerful attitude

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

I am an easy-going type of person,
I enjoy the world without feeling gloomy about it,
I am not weighed down with any grief or bother,
My cheerful attitude spices up my days for me;
That is what I have chosen as my shield.

With riches people get into the habit of boasting,
That is why they buy their joys,
Whereas they slurp from golden dishes
I do not need to count my joys;
Since, in fact, they are settled within me.

Luck drives people into wretched stratagems,
It is frequently associated with villains;
If it pays out valuable prizes 
His income just makes a man sick; - 
I look on it with a broad smile.

Fortune is careful to change,
That is something I have known for a long time,
I know that I should give things away today
And get hold of them somehow tomorrow,
And double the pain of losing them.

Cupid may target me,
But I just laugh at his power;
I will just play with women; -
One of many is left for me, though,
I can soon comfort myself thinking like that.

Learned technicalities
Are truly just useless knick-knacks,
You can enjoy yourself on earth
Without having to shout about such things,
No matter how or why they came about.

Craving for respect and honours
Is also something that does not really fit with who I am,
With every new decoration
New cravings appear,
It is never enough, it is all hollow.

I would prefer to bump into death
As a young man with a cheerful face,
And if I have to go over there on that pilgrimage
Into those gloomy halls -
Fine! - They don't terrify me.

Weeping willow and urns are not
What you should be putting over my grave then;
A small stone will be enough to do the job
And tell the passerby: "Here lies
A free man who was always cheerful."

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.

The two stanzas added by Diabelli in 1850 and subsequently published in the Peters Edition of Schubert's songs might be translated as follows:

I cheerfully greet each morning
Which brings me new joys,
If I am short of money, I just have to borrow it,
But this never bothers me
For every wish always comes true for me.

I am happy to see girls
But jealousy never disturbs my heart;
If one of them sulks I just leave her
To pine away with unhappy love,
That would be a bitter joke.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2018 by Malcolm Wren, (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 Ignaz Franz Castelli (1781 - 1862), "Frohsinn", subtitle: "(Ein Gesellschaftslied)", first published 1813 CAT DUT FRE
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Franz Peter Schubert. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2018-02-19.
Last modified: 2018-02-24 20:30:53
Line count: 45
Word count: 323