by Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856)
Translation by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806 - 1861)

Mein Kind, wir waren Kinder
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): FRE
Mein Kind, wir waren Kinder,
Zwei Kinder, klein und froh;
Wir krochen ins Hühnerhäuschen,
Versteckten uns unter das Stroh.

Wir krähten wie die Hähne,
Und kamen Leute vorbei -
"Kikereküh!" sie glaubten,
Es wäre Hahnengeschrei.

Die Kisten auf unserem Hofe,
Die tapezierten wir aus,
Und wohnten drin beisammen,
Und machten ein vornehmes Haus.

Des Nachbars alte Katze
Kam öfters zum Besuch;
Wir machten ihr Bückling' und Knickse
Und Komplimente genug.

Wir haben nach ihrem Befinden
Besorglich und freundlich gefragt;
Wir haben seitdem dasselbe
Mancher alten Katze gesagt.

Wir saßen auch oft und sprachen
Vernünftig, wie alte Leut',
Und klagten, wie alles besser
Gewesen zu unserer Zeit;

Wie Lieb' und Treu' und Glauben
Verschwunden aus der Welt,
Und wie so teuer der Kaffee,
Und wie so rar das Geld! ---

Vorbei sind die Kinderspiele,
Und alles rollt vorbei -
Das Geld und die Welt und die Zeiten,
Und Glauben und Lieb' und Treu'.

D. Cordes sets stanzas 1-2, 4-8

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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:

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2008-01-24 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:35
Line count: 32
Word count: 152

My child, we were two children
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
My child, we were two children. 
Small, merry by childhood's law; 
We used to crawl to the hen-house 
And hide ourselves in the straw. 

We crowed like cocks, and whenever 
The passers near us drew --
"Cock-a-doodle!" they thought 
'Twas a real cock that crew. 

The boxes about our courtyard 
We carpeted to our mind, 
And lived there both together --
Kept house in a noble kind. 

The neighbour's old cat often 
Came to pay us a visit; 
We made her a bow and curtsey1, 
Each with a compliment in it. 

After her health we asked. 
Our care and regard to evince --
(We have made the very same speeches 
To many an old cat since). 

We also sate and wisely 
Discoursed, as old folks do, 
Complaining how all went better 
In those good old times we knew; --

How love, and truth, and believing 
Had left the world to itself, 
And how so dear was the coffee. 
And how so rare was the pelf. 

The children's games are over. 
The rest is over with youth --
The world, the good games, the good times,
The belief, and the love, and the truth.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 in some editions this is spelled "courtesy"

Authorship

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)

    [ None yet in the database ]


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2009-05-12 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:14
Line count: 32
Word count: 188