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The LiederNet Archive
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Eh' die Sonne früh aufersteht

Language: German (Deutsch)

Eh' die Sonne früh aufersteht,
Wenn aus dem dampfenden Meer
Herauf und herunter das Morgenroth weht,
Voranfährt mit dem leuchtenden Speer -
Flattern Vöglein dahin und daher,
Singen fröhlich die Kreuz und die Quer,
Ein Lied, ein jubelndes Lied.

Was freut, ihr Vöglein, euch allzumal
So herzig im wärmenden Sonnenstrahl?
»Wir freu'n uns, daß wir leben und sind,
Und daß wir luft'ge Gesellen sind.
Nach löblichem Brauch
Durchflattern wir fröhlich den Strauch;
Umweht vom lieblichen Morgenwind
Ergetzet die Sonne sich auch.«

Was sitzt ihr Vöglein [stumm]1 und geduckt
Am Dach im mosigen Nest? -
»Wir sitzen, weil uns die Sonn' nicht [beguckt]2;
Schon hat sie die Nacht in die Wellen geduckt:
Der Mond allein,
Der liebliche Schein,
Der Sonne lieblicher Widerschein,
Uns in der Dunkelheit [nicht]3 verläßt -
Darob wir im Stillen uns freu'n.«

O Jugend, kühlige Morgenzeit!
Wo wir, die Herzen geöffnet und weit,
Mit raschem und erwachenden Sinn
Der Lebens-Frische uns erfreut,
Wohl flohst du dahin! - dahin! -
Wir Alten sitzen geduckt im Nest! -
Allein der liebliche Widerschein
Der Jugendzeit,
Wo wir im Frühroth uns erfreut,
Uns auch im Alter [nicht]4 verläßt -
Die stille, sinnige Fröhlichkeit! -

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG

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Confirmed with Theater von Friedr. Ludw. Zachar. Werner. Erster Band. Die Söhne des Thales I. Theil: Die Templer auf Cypern. Wörtlich nach der Original-Ausgabe. Wien, 1813. Im Verlage bey J. B. Wallishausser, pages 39-40; and with Die Söhne des Thal's. Ein dramatisches Gedicht. Von Friedrich Ludwig Zacharias Werner. Erster Theil: Die Templer auf Cypern. Zweite durchgängig vermehrte und verbesserte Auflage. Berlin, bei J. D. Sander. 1807, pages 41-42.

The poem is Philipp's song in act 1, scene 2 of the drama.

1 Schubert: "so stumm"
2 Werner (Berlin 1807 edition): "bekuckt"
3 Schubert (Alte Gesamtausgabe, and autograph): "nie"
4 Schubert (Neue Gesamtausgabe): "nie"

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) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "Morning song", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2003-09-29T00:00:00.
Last modified: 2018-10-09T07:52:43
Line count: 35
Word count: 192

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Morning song

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Early in the morning before the sun rises again,
When, emerging from the steaming sea,
Dawn breezes in from above and below
Heralded by its shining spear - 
Birds flitter about here and there,
Singing joyfully hither and thither,
Singing a song, a song of jubilation.

You little birds, what are you all enjoying so much,
Why are you so delighted in the warming beams of the sun?
"We are enjoying the fact that we are alive and we exist,
And that we are companions in the air.
In time-honoured tradition
We are fluttering through the bushes;
Fanned by the lovely morning wind
Even the sun is sharing the pleasure."

You little birds, why are you sitting and crouching down so quietly
By the roof in your mossy nest? - 
"We are sitting here because the sun is not looking at us;
Night has already pushed it under the waves:
Only the moon,
That lovely glow,
The lovely reflection of the sun,
Does not abandon us when it is dark - 
That is why we take pleasure in silence."

O youth, cool morning time!
Where we, with our hearts wide open,
With a rapid and awakening awareness,
We enjoy the freshness of life,
You have truly fled away! away!
We old ones sit crouching in the nest!
Only the lovely reflection 
Of youth,
Where we take pleasure in the early light of dawn,
You do not abandon us in our old age, either - 
This quiet, reflective contentment!

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  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2019 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: 2019-03-23T00:00:00.
Last modified: 2019-03-23T13:26:17
Line count: 35
Word count: 248