by Gustav Pfizer (1807 - 1890)
Translation by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)

Der Junggesell
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Ich bin ein leichter Junggesell
Und wandre durch die Welt,
Nomadengleich erbau ich schnell
Und breche ab mein Zelt.

Wohl träumt mir oft, es hab' ein Weib
Sich an mein Herz geschmiegt;
Ich hab' im süßen Zeitvertreib
Ein holdes Kind gewiegt.

Doch weg den Traum, ich bin erwachtl
Er hat gar lang' gewährt,
So lang', daß er bei Tag und Nacht
Mir immer wiederkehrt.

Der Ausgang liegt mir stets im Sinn:
Zum Grabe feucht und kalt
Trug man die schöne Mutter hin,
Das Kind dann welkte bald!

Der ganze Traum ist nun vorbei,
Mein Auge wusch ich hell,
Durchwandre wieder leicht und frei
Die Welt als Junggesell

Zwei Locken aber, wunderbar
Vom Traum mir blieben sind;
Die braune von der Mutter Haar,
Die blonde von dem Kind.

Schau ich die goldne Locke an, 
So bleicht das Abendrot;
Und seh ich auf die dunkle dann, 
So wünsch' ich mir den Tod.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in English, a translation by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882) , "The two locks of hair", appears in Ballads and Other Poems, first published 1842 ; composed by Michael William Balfe, John Blockley, Procida Bucalossi, Lady Henry Carew, J. Balisir Chatterton, Jr., Alfred E. Houfe, Francis Romer, H. E. Stewart, T. A. Wallworth.

Researcher for this text: John H. Campbell

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:45
Line count: 28
Word count: 150

A youth, light‑hearted and content
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
A youth, light-hearted and content,
  I wander through the world
Here, Arab-like, is pitched my tent
  And straight again is furled.

Yet oft I dream, that once a wife
  Close in my heart was locked,
And in the sweet repose of life
  A blessed child I rocked.

I wake! Away that dream,--away!
  Too long did it remain!
So long, that both by night and day
  It ever comes again.

The end lies ever in my thought;
  To a grave so cold and deep
The mother beautiful was brought;
  Then dropt the child asleep.

But now the dream is wholly o'er,
  I bathe mine eyes and see;
And wander through the world once more,
  A youth so light and free.

Two locks--and they are wondrous fair--
  Left me that vision mild;
The brown is from the mother's hair,
  The blond is from the child.

And when I see that lock of gold,
  Pale grows the evening-red;
And when the dark lock I behold,
  I wish that I were dead. 

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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)

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2008-06-29 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:45
Line count: 28
Word count: 168