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Röther färbt sich der Himmel

Language: German (Deutsch)

     Sweet lovers love the spring.

Röther färbt sich der Himmel;
Aus der goldenen Wolke
Thaun der Mai und die Liebe
Segen auf die enteiste Flur.
Sein allmächtiges Lächeln
Giebt dem Strauche die Blätter,
Giebt dem Baume die Knospen,
Und dem Haine den Lenzgesang.
Seinen Tritten entwimmeln
Grüne duftende Kräuter,
Tausendfarbige Blumen,
Purpur, Silber und lichtes Gold.

Seine Tochter, die Liebe,
Baut dem Vogel die Nester,
Paaret Blumen und Blüten,
Führt dem Manne die Männin zu.

Liebe säuseln die Blätter,
Liebe duften die Blüten,
Liebe rieselt die Quelle,
Liebe flötet die Nachtigall.
Lauben klingen von Gläsern,
Lauben rauschen von Küssen
Und von frohen Gesprächen,
Und vom Lächeln der Liebenden.

Ringsum grünen die Hecken,
Ringsum blühen die Bäume,
Ringsum zwitschern die Vögel,
Ringsum summet das Bienenvolk.
Roth und Grün ist die Wiese,
Blau und golden der Äther,
Hell und silbern das Bächlein,
Kühl und schattig der Buchenwald.

Heerden klingeln im Thale,
Lämmer blöcken am Bache,
Und die Flöte des Hirten
Weckt den schlummernden Abendhain.

Nachtigallen, ihr wirbelt
Auf das Lager des Jünglings,
Welches Maien umduften,
Goldne Träume von Kuß und Spiel!
[Träumend schaut er das Mägdlein
In hellgrüner Umschattung,
Fügt des Beetes Aurikel
In ihr bräunliches Lockenhaar;
Spielt am zarten Geringel,
Blickt ihr kühner ins Antliz
Ach, und waget den Brautkuß
Auf den rosigen warmen Mund.]1

Translation(s): DUT ENG

List of language codes

F. Schubert sets stanza 5
F. Mendelssohn-Hensel sets stanzas 1-3, 5, 7, 8, 10-12

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von Ludewig Heinrich Christoph Hölty. Neu besorgt und vermehrt von Johann Heinrich Voss. Hamburg, bei Carl Ernst Bohn. 1804, pages 124-127; and with Poetische Blumenlese für das Jahr 1778. Herausgegeben von Joh. Heinr. Voß. Hamburg, bey Carl Ernst Bohn, pages 88-90.

This is Hölty's poem in its version posthumously printed in the editions edited by Voß. Hölty's original version differs in several verses (see below).

1 Hölty/Voß (1778 edition):
Träumend spielt er mit Laurens
Weissem bebenden Busen,
Küßt den bebenden Busen,
Und den rosigen süßen Mund.

Submitted by Lau Kanen [Guest Editor] 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):

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2017-06-08 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2018-05-18 16:34:33

Line count: 50
Word count: 217

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The sky is becoming more crimson

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

The sky is becoming more crimson;
From out of the golden cloud,
May and love bedew the meadow,
No longer icy, with blessings.

The almighty smile [of May]
Gives the bushes their leaves,
Gives the tree its blossoms,
And [gives] the grove the song of spring.

From [May's] footprints burgeon
Green, scented herbs,
Thousand-hued flowers,
Crimson, silver, and bright gold.

[May's] daughter, love,
Builds the birds' nests,
Pairs off flowers and blossoms,
Leads the woman to the man.

The leaves whisper love,
The blossoms breathe love with their scents,
The water-spring burbles love,
The nightingale flutes love.

The arbours resound with the clinking of glasses,
The arbours sough with kissing
And with joyful conversations,
And with the smiles of those who love.

Round about the hedges grow green,
Round about the trees blossom,
Round about the birds twitter,
Round about the bees hum.

Red and green is the meadow
Blue and golden the aether,
Bright and silvery the brooklet,
Cool and shady the beech forest.

The bells of the herds ring in the valley,
Lambs bleat at the brook,
And the flute of the shepherd
Wakens the slumbering evening grove.

Nightingales, you warble your songs
Upon the resting-place of the youth,
Which is scented all about with wildflowers,
Golden dreams of kiss and dalliance!

[Dreamily he gazes upon the maiden
In the light green shadows,
Places a primula from the flowerbed
In her curly, brown hair;

Plays with the delicate ringlets,
Looks into her face more boldly,
Ah, and dares to place a bridal kiss
Upon her rosy, warm lips.]1

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.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Translations of title(s):
"Liebe säuseln die Blätter" = "The leaves whisper love"
"Mailied" = "May song"
"Maigesang" = "May song"

1 Hölty/Voß (1778 edition):
 Dreamily he plays with Laura's
White, trembling bosom,
Kisses the trembling bosom,
And the rosy sweet lips.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2018 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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Based on
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Ludwig Heinrich Christoph Hölty (1748 - 1776), "Maigesang", written 1776, first published 1778 DUT
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel, Johann Christian Rötsch, Franz Peter Schubert. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2018-08-31 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2018-09-04 20:34:02

Line count: 48
Word count: 260