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Warum sind denn die Rosen so blaß?

Language: German (Deutsch)

Warum sind denn die Rosen so blaß?
O sprich mein Lieb warum?
Warum sind denn im grünen Gras
Die blauen Veilchen so stumm?

Warum singt denn mit so kläglichem Laut,
Die Lerche in der Luft?
Warum steigt denn aus dem Balsamkraut
Verwelkter Blütenduft?

Warum scheint denn die Sonn' auf die Au,
So kalt und verdrießlich herab?
Warum ist denn die Erde so grau,
Und öde wie ein Grab?

Warum bin ich selbst so krank und so trüb?
Mein liebes Liebchen sprich
O sprich mein herzallerliebstes Lieb,
Warum verließest du mich?


List of language codes

P. Cornelius sets stanzas 1-2, 4

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Heinrich Heine, Buch der Lieder, Hoffmann und Campe, Hamburg, 1827, page 129.

Submitted by Emily Ezust and Pierre Mathé


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

This text (or a part of it) is used in a work

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Perquè són les roses tan pàl·lides", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Why are the roses so pale?", copyright ©
  • ENG English (John Todhunter) , appears in Heine's Book of Songs, first published 1907
  • FRE French (Français) (Charles Beltjens) , no title, appears in Intermezzo lyrique, no. 23, first published 1827
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Pourquoi les roses sont-elles si pâles?", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • POR Portuguese (Português) (Axel Bergstedt) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2017-02-07 13:45:19
Line count: 16
Word count: 90

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Why are the roses so pale?

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

 Why are the roses so pale?
 o speak, my love, why?
 Why in the green grass
 are the blue violets so silent?
 Why with such a lamenting voice
 does the lark sing in the sky?
 Why from the balsam weed does there rise
 the scent of wilting blossoms?
 Why does the sun shine down on the meadow,
 so coldly and morosely?
 Why is the earth so gray
 and desolate like a grave?
 Why am I myself so ill and dull?
 My lovely darling speak,
 O speak, my heart's most beloved love,
 why have you abandoned me?

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  • 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 --

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Based on
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856), no title, appears in Buch der Lieder, in Lyrisches Intermezzo, no. 23 CAT DUT FRE FRE FRE FRE FRE ITA POR RUS RUS ITA UKR
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Jules Bleichmann, Albert Bratfisch, August Bungert, Hans van den Burg, Vladimir, Fürst Castriota-Scanderbeg, Peter Cornelius, Paul Dessau, G. J. van Dongen, Heinrich Dorn, Alexander Julius Paul Dorn, Hermann Drechsler, Luisa Erdődy, Ludwig von Erlanger, Don Forsythe, Gabel, Thecla de Gähler, Georgiana, Olivier Greif, Rudolf Gritzner, Ludwig Grünberger, Ferdinand Gumbert, Henry Kimball Hadley, Lennart Hedwall, Henrik Hennings, Arthur Hervey, Richard Hol, Friedrich Gustav Jansen, M. P. Kavelina, Nikolay Filippovich Khristianovich, O. K. Klemm, Franz Theodor Kugler, Georg Karl Kulenkamp, Franz Paul Lachner, Ernst Löwenberg, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel, Ernst Hermann Meyer, Victor Ernst Nessler, C. Adolph Oberdörffer, Rudolf Philipp, Edna Frida Pietsch, Catharine Adelaide Agnes Ranken, Alfred Reisenauer, Jakob Rosenhain, Ludwig Rottenberg, Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld, Malvina Schnorr von Carolsfeld, Othmar Schoeck, Josef Schreier, F. J. Schumann, E. von Selle, Anton Julievich Simon, Korstiaan Stougie, Oscar Strasnoy, Reginald Lindsey Sweet, Sigismund Thalberg, Feofil Matveyevich Tolstoy, Albert Theodor Töpken, Carl Uterhart, Peter Visser, Cornelis Christian Adriaan de Vliegh, Joel Weiss, Hermann Wichmann, Heinrich Rudolph Willmers, Theodor Winkelmann, Gerhard Wuensch, Max Zenger. Go to the text.


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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:33
Line count: 16
Word count: 97