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Drei Zigeuner fand ich einmal

Language: German (Deutsch)

Drei Zigeuner fand ich einmal
Liegen an einer Weide,
Als mein Fuhrwerk mit müder Qual
Schlich durch sandige Heide.

Hielt der eine für sich allein
In den Händen die Fiedel,
Spielt', umglüht vom Abendschein,
Sich ein [feuriges]1 Liedel.

Hielt der zweite die Pfeif' im Mund,
Blickte nach seinem Rauche,
Froh, als ob er vom Erdenrund
Nichts zum Glücke mehr brauche.

Und der dritte behaglich schlief,
Und sein Zymbal am Baum hing;
Über die Saiten der Windhauch lief,
Über sein Herz ein Traum ging.

An [den]2 Kleidern trugen die drei
Löcher und bunte Flicken;
Aber sie boten trotzig frei
Spott den Erdengeschicken.

Dreifach haben sie mir gezeigt,
Wenn das Leben uns nachtet,
Wie man's [verraucht, verschläft]3, vergeigt,
Und es dreifach verachtet.

Nach den Zigeunern [lang']4 [noch schaun
Mußt ich]5 im Weiterfahren,
Nach den Gesichtern dunkelbraun,
[Den]6 schwarzlockigen Haaren.

Translation(s): ENG ENG ENG FRE POR

List of language codes

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Gund, Liszt, Shoeck: "lustiges" (from another version of Lenau)
2 Gund, Schoeck: "die" (from another version of Lenau)
3 Gund, Liszt, Schoeck: "verschläft, verraucht"
4 Edelmann, Gund, Schoeck,: "lange"
5 Gund, Liszt, Schoeck: "noch/ Mußt ich schaun"
6 Gund, Liszt, Schoeck: "Nach den"

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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "The three Gypsies", copyright ©
  • ENG English (Walter A. Aue) , "The Three Gypsies", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English [singable] (Arthur Westbrook) , "The three gypsies"
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Les trois tsiganes", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • POR Portuguese (Português) (Margarida Moreno) , "Os três ciganos", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:38
Line count: 28
Word count: 137

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     - Emily Ezust

The Three Gypsies

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Once I chanced upon gypsies three
resting in sunny weather,
as my jalopy carried me
wary through gravelly heather.

Just for himself one gypsy had
gotten hold of his fiddle,
played, surrounded by evening's red,
fiery songs for a diddle.

Had the other a pipe in his mouth,
looked at the spiraling matter -
happy, as if from the whole of this earth
nothing could suit him better.

And the third one in comfort slept,
his guitar in a tree bend;
over the strings the breezes crept,
over his heart a dream went.

On their clothing carried the three
holes with patches around them,
but they defied intrepidly
what in their destiny bound them.

Threefold the gypsies revealed that day,
how, when one's life is benighted,
to sing it, to smoke it, to dream it away -
and thrice to detest and deride it.

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 © 2008 by Walter A. Aue, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Walter A. Aue. Contact:
    <waue (AT) dal (DOT) ca>

    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:
    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Nikolaus Lenau (1802 - 1850), "Die drei Zigeuner", appears in Gedichte, in 3. Drittes Buch, in Gestalten FRE POR
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Toni Edelmann, Nicola Elsenheimer, Robert Gund, Max J. L. Gus, Franz Liszt, Theodor Raillard, Anton Grigoryevich Rubinstein, Othmar Schoeck, E. Széchényi. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2008-10-16.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:58
Line count: 24
Word count: 144