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Language: German (Deutsch)

Kennst du die Blume, die märchenhafte,
sagengefeierte Wasserrose?
Sie wiegt auf ätherischem, schlankem Schafte
das durchsicht'ge Haupt, das farbenlose,
sie blüht auf schilfigem Teich im Haine,
gehütet vom Schwan, der umkreiset sie einsam,
sie erschließt sich nur dem Mondenscheine,
mit dem ihr der silberne Schimmer gemeinsam:
so blüht sie, die zaub'rische Schwester der Sterne,
umschwärmt von der träumerisch dunklen Phaläne,
die am Rande des Teichs sich sehnet von ferne,
und sie nimmer erreicht, wie sehr sie sich sehne.
Wasserrose, so nenn' ich die schlanke,
nachtlock'ge Maid, alabastern von Wangen,
in dem Auge der ahnende tiefe Gedanke,
als sei sie ein Geist und auf Erden gefangen.
Wenn sie spricht, ist's wie silbernes Wogenrauschen,
wenn sie schweigt, ist's die ahnende Stille der Mondnacht;
sie scheint mit den Sternen Blicke zu tauschen,
deren Sprache die gleiche Natur sie gewohnt macht;
du kannst nie ermüden, in's Aug' ihr zu schau'n,
das die seidne, lange Wimper umsäumt hat,
und du glaubst, wie bezaubernd von seligem Grau'n,
was je die Romantik von Elfen geträumt hat.

Translation(s): ENG FRE FRE

List of language codes

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


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 (Emily Ezust) , title 1: "Waterlily", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Heide Wiesner) , title 1: "Nénuphar", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Stéphane Goldet) (Pierre de Rosamel) , title 1: "Nymphéa", copyright © 2013, (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: 24
Word count: 169

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Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

 Do you know the flower, the fantastic
 waterlily, celebrated in myth?
 On a slim, ethereal stem bobs
 its translucent, colorless head;
 it blooms by reedy pools in groves,
 protected by the swan, who circles it in solitary vigil;
 it opens only in the moonlight
 with which it shares its silver glimmer:
 thus does it bloom, the magical sister of the star,
 idolized for its dreamy, dark tendrils
 which by the edge of the pool can be seen from afar,
 never reaching what it years for.
 Waterlily, so do I call the slim
 maiden with night-dark locks and alabaster cheeks,
 with deep foreboding thoughts showing in her eyes 
 as if they were ghosts imprisoned on Earth.
 When she speaks, it is like the silvery rushing of water;
 when she is silent, it is the pregnant silence of the moonlit night.
 She seems to have exchanged radiant expressions with the stars,
 whose language, of the same nature, she has grown accustomed to.
 You can never grow weary of gazing in those eyes
 fringed with silky, long lashes, 
 and you believe, as if blessedly, terrifyingly bewitched,
 whatever the Romatics have dreamed about Elves.

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 © 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: 24
Word count: 191