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The LiederNet Archive
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Die Kartenlegerin

Language: German (Deutsch) after the French (Français)

Schlief die Mutter endlich ein
   Über ihrer Hauspostille?
   Nadel, liege du nun stille:
   Nähen, immer Nähen, -- nein! --
   Legen will ich mir die Karten.
   Ei, was hab ich zu erwarten?
   Ei, was wird das Ende sein?
Trüget mich die [Ahndung]1 nicht,
   Zeigt sich Einer, den ich meine, --
   Schön! da kommt er ja, der Eine,
   Coeurbub kannte seine Pflicht. --
   Eine reiche Witwe? -- wehe!
   Ja, er freit sie, ich vergehe!
   O verruchter Bösewicht!
Herzeleid und viel Verdruß, --
   Eine Schul' und enge Mauern, --
   [Carreaukönig]2, der bedauern
   Und zuletzt mich trösten muß. --
   Ein Geschenk auf artge Weise --
   Er entführt mich -- Eine Reise --
   Geld und Lust im Überfluß!
Dieser [Carreaukönig]2 da
   Muß ein Fürst sein oder König
   Und es fehlt daran nur wenig,
   Bin ich selber Fürstin ja. --
   Hier ein Feind, der mir zu schaden
   Sich bemüht bei seiner Gnaden,
   Und ein Blonder steht mir nah.
Ein Geheimnis kommt [zu Tag]3,
   Und ich flüchte noch bei Zeiten, --
   Fahret wohl, ihr Herrlichkeiten!
   O das war ein harter Schlag!
   Hin ist Einer, eine Menge
   Bilden um mich ein Gedränge,
   Daß ich [kaum sie]4 zählen mag.
Dieser hier in grauem Haar
   Ist ein Junker wohl vom Lande,
   Spröde halt' ich ihn am Bande
   Und ich führ' ihn zum Altar. --
   Nach Paris! -- Ein lustig Leben!
   Brummt der Mann, so lach' ich eben,
   Bleibt doch alles, wie es war. --
[Kommt das grämliche Gesicht]5,
   Kommt die Alte da mit Keuchen,
   Lieb' und Lust mir zu verscheuchen,
   Eh' die Jugend mir gebricht? --
   Ach! die Mutter ist's, die aufwacht,
   Und den Mund zu schelten aufmacht.--
   Nein, die Karten lügen nicht!

Translation(s): DUT ENG FRE

List of language codes

R. Schumann sets stanzas 1-5, 7

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von Adelbert von Chamisso, Neunzehnte Auflage, Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1869, pages 174-175.

1 Schumann modernizes Chamisso's archaic formulation to "Ahnung"
2 Schumann germanises this to "Karo-König"
3 Schumann: "zu Tage"
4 Schumann: "sie kaum"
5 Schumann: "Kommt das dumme Fraungesicht"

Submitted by Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]


Based on

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):

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "De kaartlegster", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "The fortune-teller", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "La tireuse de cartes", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2003-11-20 00:00:00.
Last modified: 2015-06-03 12:17:49
Line count: 49
Word count: 256

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The fortune‑teller

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Has my mother finally fallen asleep
   Over her book of sermons?
   Needle, you now must lie still:
   Sewing, ever sewing, -- no! --
   I shall read the cards to ascertain my fortune.
   Ah, what can I expect?
   Ah, how shall it all turn out?
If I am not deceived,
   Someone shows himself, the one I have in mind, --
   Good! there he comes then, the One,
   The Jack of Hearts knew his duty. --
   A rich widow? -- oh woe!
   Yes, he marries her, I perish!
   Oh you dreadful scoundrel!
Heartache and much vexation, --
   A school and closely confining walls, --
   The King of Diamonds, who must pity
   And must finally comfort me. --
   A gift [presented] in a courteous manner --
   He carries me off -- A journey --
   Money and pleasure in abundance!
This King of Diamonds there
   Must be a prince or a king
   And it would not take much
   For me to become a princess myself. --
   Here is an enemy who, trying to do me a mischief,
   Fawns about his Highness,
   And a blonde man is near me.
A secret is revealed,
   And I manage to flee in time, --
   Farewell all you glories!
   Oh that was a cruel blow!
   One is lost, a crowd
   Throngs about me,
   So many people that I can hardly count them.
This chap here with grey hair
   Must be a squire from the country,
   Demurely I dangle him on a string
   And I lead him to the altar. --
   To Paris! -- A jolly life!
   If the man grumbles, I simply laugh,
   For everything remains the way it was. --
 [Does the morose visage appear,]1
   Is the wheezing old woman coming
   To chase away my love and enjoyment,
   Before my youth has flown? --
   Ah! it is my mother, who awakens,
   And opens her mouth to scold me. --
   No, the cards do not lie!

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 Schumann: "Does that wretched woman's visage appear"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 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
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Text added to the website: 2015-06-03 00:00:00.
Last modified: 2015-06-03 12:19:01
Line count: 49
Word count: 299