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Language: German (Deutsch)

Die silbernen Glöckchen
Der Blume des Mays,
Sie läuten zum Reihn.
Herbey in den Kreis,
Ihr schwärmenden Feyn!
Auf! purpurne Flöckchen
Und weiße zu streun!
Wo Mondschein die duftige
    Primel umbebt.
Da werde der luftige
    Reigen gewebt.

O Lust, sonder gleichen,
Zum Ringe verschränkt,
Bis Luna den Höhn
Die Drachen entlenkt,
Sich nach dem Getön
Von Ariels weichen
Accorden zu drehn!
Sey manches entzückender!
    Freundlich und mild
Hat uns ein beglückender
   Wahn es verhüllt.

Die Menschen, gleich Blättern,
Verschwinden sie früh;
In angstvoller Hast
Erbaun sie mit Müh
Den Wolkenpallast;
Im Räumchen von Brettern
Da finden sie Rast.
Wir lachen der grämlichen
    Runzeln der Zeit,
Und bleiben die nähmlichen
    Morgen wie heut!

Wir herrschen in Reichen,
Wo nimmer dein Born,
O Jugend, versiegt.
Die Ros' ohne Dorn
Am Pfade sich wiegt,
Und ewig kein Zeichen
Im Sternenbuch trügt.
Wo Mondschein die duftige
    Primel umbebt,
Da werde der luftige
    Reigen gewebt.

Translation(s): ENG FRE

List of language codes

J. Lang sets stanzas 1, 3-4

In Friedrich von Matthissons sämmtliche Werke. Erster Band, Gedichte, Erster Theil, Wien: Cath. Gräffer und Härter, 1815, pages 99-100

Submitted by Sharon Krebs [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):

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) (Harald Krebs) , "Fairy dance", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "La ronde des fées", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:40
Line count: 44
Word count: 150

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Fairy dance

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

The silver bells
Of the flower of May,
They ring, inviting to the dance!
Come into the circle,
You swarming fairies!
Come, strew flakes [i.e., petals]
Of purple and white!
Where moonlight trembles
    About the scented primrose,
There the airy dance
    Shall be woven!

Oh joy without parallel,
To be intertwined in a ring,
Until Luna lures the dragons
From the heights,
To come and twirl
To the sounds
Of Ariel's soft chords.
If something be more ravishing!
   In a friendly and mild manner
A delight-inspiring illusion
    Has veiled it from us.

People, like leaves,
Soon disappear
With fearful haste!
They laboriously build themselves
A palace in the clouds!
In a small room made of boards [i.e., a coffin]
They find rest!
[But] we laugh at the miserable
    Wrinkles of time!
And remain the same
    Tomorrow as today!

We reign in dominions
Where thy wellspring,
Oh youth, never dries up!
The thornless rose
Sways beside the path,
And eternally no sign
In the book of stars shall deceive.
Where moonlight trembles
    About the scented primrose,
There the airy dance
    Shall be woven!

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 © 2006 by Sharon Krebs and Harald 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 Friedrich von Matthisson (1761 - 1831), "Feenreigen" FRE
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Ludwig Abeille, Anton Eberhardt, Josephine Lang, Richard von Perger. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2006-11-10.
Last modified: 2018-07-10 16:50:21
Line count: 44
Word count: 182