by Nikolaus Lenau (1802 - 1850)
Translation Singable translation by Arthur Westbrook

Drei Zigeuner fand ich einmal
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG ENG FRE POR
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.

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"

Authorship

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


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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

The three gypsies
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Once I met three sturdy gypsies
Lying in a meadow
As I journey'd beside my wagon
O'er the heath in the shadow.

Now the first, on a fiddle old,
Held in brown agile fingers
Play'd there in the sunset gold
Songs whose gay music lingers.

And the second with a pipe in mouth,
Gazing at smoke ascending,
Seem'd reclining in sweet content
All earth's joys transcending.

And the third one cosily slept,
While his cymbal hung on a tree;
Thro' ev'ry string then the light wind swept,
Filling his dream with melody.

Worn and old the rags of the three,
Yet nought they knew of sorrow;
For they were joyous, gay and free,
Cared no jot for the morrow.

Thus in three ways they show'd to me
That, when life teems with sadness,
Still one may smoke, and sleep and fiddle,
Turning troubles to gladness.

As on I fared I turn'd to look
Again upon them lying,
With hands and faces swart and brown,
And their hair slovenly flying.

From the Liszt score.

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: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website: 2011-04-26 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:21
Line count: 28
Word count: 169