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Der Knabe in der Wiege

Language: German (Deutsch)

Er schläft so süß, der Mutter Blicke hangen
An ihres Lieblings leisem Athemzug,
Den sie mit stillem sehnsuchtsvollen Bangen
So lange unterm Herzen trug.

Sie sieht so froh die [vollen]1 Wangen [glühen]2
In gelbe Ringellocken halb versteckt,
Und will das Ärmchen [sanft]3 [herunterziehen]4,
Das sich im Schlummer ausgestreckt.

Und leis' und leiser schaukelt sie die Wiege
Und singt den kleinen Schläfer leis' in Ruh;
Ein Lächeln spielet um die holden Züge,
Doch bleibt das Auge friedlich zu.

Erwachst du Kleiner, o so lächle wieder,
Und schau ihr hell ins Mutterangesicht:
So lauter Liebe schaut es auf Dich nieder,
Noch kennest du die Liebe nicht.

Bald aber lernst du sie aus ihren Blicken,
Aus ihrem Herzen, wenn es sanft bewegt
Von mütterlichem volleren Entzücken
An deinem kleinen Herzen schlägt.
Und lernest Sprache zu des Herzens Triebe,
Zuerst mit Stammeln nur den Mutterlaut,
Und bald noch manches süße Wort der Liebe,
Und wirst den deinen so vertraut.
Und lernst den theuren Vater auch erkennen,
Und eilst ihm zu von deiner Mutter Brust,
Und lernst die Dinge scheiden und benennen,
Und fühlst des Denkens neue Lust.
Und lernest beten aus der Mutter Munde
Nach ihres Herzens kindlich frommem Sinn,
Es weiset dir in stiller Abendstunde
Der Vater nach den Sternen hin;
Dort, wo der Vater aller Menschen wohnet,
Der dich, und alle seine Kinder liebt,
Der alles Gute väterlich belohnet,
Und jedem seine Freude gibt.
Da wandelst du so rein und froh auf Erden,
Dein Herz so gläubig und so gut und weich!
So bleibe, Holder, willst du glücklich werden,
Denn solcher ist das Himmelreich.

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG ENG FRE

List of language codes

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Abendunterhaltungen für den Winter. Wien 1817 bey Carl Gerold, pages 248-249.

1 Schubert (first version only): "holden"
2 Schubert: "glühn"
3 Schubert (first version only): "leis"
4 Schubert: "herunter ziehn"

Submitted by Richard Morris 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) , "El nen al bressol", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Het jongetje in de wieg", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "The baby in the cradle", copyright ©
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "The boy in the cradle", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "L'enfant dans le berceau", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2018-03-12 10:16:39
Line count: 40
Word count: 262

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The boy in the cradle

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

He is sleeping so sweetly, his mother cannot take her eyes off
Her darling's gentle breathing,
The boy who she felt such silent, yearning anxiety about
For so long as she carried him beneath her heart.

She takes such pleasure in looking at his full cheeks glowing,
Half hidden behind his yellow ringlets,
And she wants to tuck in his little arm gently
When he stretches it out in his sleep.

She rocks the cradle ever more gently
And sings the little sleeper softly to his rest;
A smile plays around his beautiful features
Though his eyes remain peacefully closed.

When you wake up, little one, smile again like that
And beam into your mother's face:
She is looking at you with so much love
Even though you are not aware of this love.

But you will soon learn about it from the way she looks at you,
From her heart, when it is gently moved
By the most intense motherly delight
As it beats in response to your own little heart.

And you will learn to speak from the drives of the heart,
At first you will just mutter the sound 'mummy'
But you will soon learn plenty of sweet loving words
And you will be so confident in your own.

And you will also learn to recognise your dear father,
And you will rush to him from your mother's breast,
And you will learn to distinguish and name different things
And you will feel new pleasure in thinking.

And you will learn to pray from your mother's mouth,
Reflecting the childlike pious attitude of her heart,
In the quiet hours of evening you will be shown
The stars and your father will point to them;

Up there, where the father of all humans lives,
Who loves you and all his children,
Who rewards all that is good in a fatherly way
And who gives his joy to everyone.

Here you are roaming about on earth so pure and contented,
With your heart so trusting, so good and tender!
So remain, you beauty, if you want to become happy,
For such is the kingdom of heaven.

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.


  • 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


Text added to the website: 2018-09-04.
Last modified: 2018-09-04 17:04:48
Line count: 40
Word count: 357