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The LiederNet Archive
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Die Löwenbraut

Language: German (Deutsch)

Mit der Myrte geschmückt und dem Brautgeschmeid,
Des Wärters Tochter, die rosige Maid,
Tritt ein in den Zwinger des Löwen; er liegt
Der Herrin zu Füßen, vor der er sich schmiegt.

Der Gewaltige, wild und unbändig zuvor,
Schaut fromm und verständig zur Herrin empor;
Die Jungfrau, zart und wonnereich,
Liebestreichelt ihn sanft und weinet zugleich:

"Wir waren in Tagen, die nicht mehr sind,
Gar treue Gespielen wie Kind und Kind,
Und hatten uns lieb und hatten uns gern;
Die Tage der Kindheit, sie liegen uns fern.

Du schütteltest machtvoll, eh wir's geglaubt,
Dein mähnen-umwogtes, königlich Haupt;
Ich wuchs heran, du siehst es, ich bin
Das Kind nicht mehr mit kindischem Sinn.

O wär ich das Kind noch und bliebe bei dir,
Mein starkes, getreues, mein redliches Tier;
Ich aber muß folgen, sie taten mir's an,
Hinaus in die Fremde dem fremden Mann.

Es fiel ihm ein, daß schön ich sei,
Ich wurde gefreit, es ist nun vorbei; --
Der Kranz im [Haare]1, mein guter Gesell,
Und [nicht vor Tränen]2 die Blicke mehr hell.

Verstehst du mich ganz? Schaust grimmig dazu;
Ich bin ja gefaßt, sei ruhig auch du;
Dort seh ich ihn kommen, dem folgen ich muß,
So geb ich denn, Freund, dir den letzten Kuß!"

Und wie ihn die Lippe des Mädchens berührt,
Da hat man den Zwinger erzittern gespürt,
Und wie er am [Gitter]3 den Jüngling erschaut,
Erfaßt Entsetzen die bangende Braut.

Er stellt an die Tür sich des Zwingers zur Wacht,
Er schwinget den Schweif, er brüllet mit Macht;
Sie flehend, gebietend und drohend begehrt
Hinaus; er im Zorn den Ausgang wehrt.

Und draußen erhebt sich verworren Geschrei.
Der Jüngling ruft: "bringt Waffen herbei;
Ich schieß ihn nieder, ich treff ihn gut."
Aufbrüllt der Gereizte, schäumend vor Wut.

Die Unselige wagt's, sich der Türe zu nahn,
Da fällt er verwandelt die Herrin an;
Die schöne Gestalt, ein gräßlicher Raub,
Liegt blutig zerrissen, entstellt in dem Staub.

Und wie er vergossen das teure Blut,
Er legt sich zur Leiche mit finsterem Mut,
Er liegt so versunken in Trauer und Schmerz,
Bis tödlich die Kugel ihn trifft in das Herz.

Translation(s): DUT ENG FRE

List of language codes

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Schumann: "Haar"
2 Schumann: "vor Tränen nicht"
3 Schumann: "Zwinger"

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):

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "De leeuwenbruid", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "The lion's bride", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "La fiancée du lion", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:24
Line count: 48
Word count: 350

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This website began in 1995 as a personal project, and I have been working on it full-time without a salary since 2008. Our research has never had any government or institutional funding, so if you found the information here useful, please consider making a donation. Your gift is greatly appreciated.
     - Emily Ezust

The lion's bride

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Adorned with myrtle and a bridal gown,
the watchman's daughter, the rosy maid,
Steps into the cage of the lion; he lies down 
at his mistress's feet, and nestles there.

The powerful creature, wild and unbridled,
gazes devotedly and intelligently up at his mistress;
the young woman, gentle and lovely,
caresses him tenderly and weeps all the while:

"We were, in days that are no longer,
such true playmates, as a child will be with another child,
and we loved and liked each other well;
the days of childhood lie so distant!

Powerfully, before we could believe it,
you were shaking your head with a kingly mane;
I grew up as well, as you can see: I am 
no longer a child with a child's mind.

O were I a child again, and could stay with you,
my strong, faithful, honest animal!
But I must follow my destiny
to go to foreign lands with a foreign husband.

He thought I was fair
and I was wooed; it is now in the past:
a wreath in my hair, my good friend,
and so many tears that I can not see.

Do you understand me? You look at me so grimly.
I am already bound, so be calm;
Look, I see him coming, he whom I must follow;
I'll give you then, my friend, one final kiss."

And as the lips of the maiden touched him,
one could feel the cage trembling,
and as he looked out [through the bars]1 at the young man,
the anxious bride was seized by horror.

He placed himself at the door of the cage, guarding it;
he waved his tail, and roared with power.
She asked pleadingly, threatened and then demanded
to be let out, but he defended the exit with fury.

Outside there arose a confused outcry.
The young man called: bring me a gun;
I'll shoot him down, I'll take care of him.
The beast roared, foaming with rage.

The wretched girl risked moving near the door,
and, transformed, he fell on his mistress:
the lovely form, a grisly crime,
lay torn and bleeding, disfigured in the dust.

And having spilled this beloved blood,
he lay down beside the corpse with a gloomy air;
he lay thus, sunk in mourning and pain
until the fatal bullet pierced his heart.

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.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Schumann: "of the cage"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive --

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on


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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:24
Line count: 48
Word count: 385