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Im Mummelsee, im dunklen See

Language: German (Deutsch)

Im Mummelsee, im [dunklen]1 See,
Da blüh'n der Lilien viele,
Sie wiegen sich, sie biegen sich,
Dem losen Wind zum Spiele;
Doch wenn die Nacht herniedersinkt,
Der volle Mond am Himmel blinkt,
Entsteigen sie dem Bade
Als Jungfern am Gestade.

Es bläst der Wind, es saust das Rohr
Die Melodie zum Tanze,
Die Lilienmädchen schlingen sich,
Als wie zu einem Kranze;
Und schweben leis' umher im Kreis,
Gesichter weiss, Gewänder weiß
Bis ihre bleichen Wangen
Mit zarter Röte prangen.

Es braust der Sturm, es pfeift das Rohr,
Es rauscht im Tannenwalde,
Die Wolken zieh'n am Monde hin,
Die Schatten auf der Halde;
Und auf und ab, durch's nasse Gras
Dreht sich der Reigen ohne Mass,
Und immer lauter schwellen
An's Ufer an die Wellen.

Da hebt ein Arm sich aus der Flut,
Die Riesenfaust geballet
Ein triefend Haupt dann, schilfbekränzt
Vom langen Bart umwallet,
Und eine Donnerstimme schallt,
Daß im Gebirg' as widerhallt:
»Zurück in eure Wogen,
Ihr Lilien ungezogen!«

Da stockt der Tanz, die Mädchen schrein,
Und werden immer blässer:
»Der Vater ruft, hu, Morgenluft!
Zurück in das Gewässer!«
Die Nebel steigen aus dem Tal,
Es dämmert schon der Morgenstrahl,
Und Lilien schwanken wieder
Im Wasser auf und nieder.

Translation(s): ENG ITA

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 Brüll: "dunkeln"; further changes may exist not noted above.

Submitted by Lawrence Snyder


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Lawrence Snyder) , title 1: "The water-lily lake", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Amelia Maria Imbarrato) , title 1: "Mummelsee", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:49
Line count: 40
Word count: 200

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The water‑lily lake

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

In Mummelsee, in the dark lake,
There bloom many lilies.
They rock, they bend and bow,
Play for the capricious wind.
But when the night descends
And the full moon shines in the heavens
They climb out of water
As maidens on the shore.

The wind blows, it pipes on the reed
The dance melody,
The lilymaidens entwine themselves
Into a ring like a wreath
And hover lightly around in a circle
Faces pale, limbs white,
Until their pale cheeks
Are decorated with sweet Roses.

The storm rages, the reeds pipe 
The fir trees rustle
The moon throws shadows
Of the clouds on the hillsides.
And to and fro, through the damp grass
The Roundelay moves without measure
And ever louder swell
The waves upon the shore.

Then an arm rises out of the flood;
A giant clenched fist,
Then a dripping head,  reed crowned,
Surrounded by a long beard,
And a loud voice trumpets
So that it echoes in the mountains:
Back in your flood 
You ill-mannered lilies."

The dance halts, the maidens cry out
And become yet paler:
Father calls, lo, morning breeze!
Back into the waters!"
The mist climbs out of the valley,
The morning light already dawns,
And lilies sway again
Back and forth in the water.

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  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Lawrence Snyder, (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 August Schnezler (1809 - 1853) ITA
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Ignaz Brüll, Johann Karl Gottfried Loewe, Joseph Rheinberger. Go to the text.


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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:49
Line count: 40
Word count: 211