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Da ich ein Knabe war

Language: German (Deutsch)

Da ich ein Knabe war,
rettet' ein Gott mich oft
vom Geschrei und der Rufe der Menschen,
da spielt' ich sicher und gut
mit den Blumen des Hains,
und die Lüftchen des Himmels
spielten mit mir.

Und wie du das Herz
der Planzen erfreust,
wenn sie entgegen dir
die zarten Arme strecken,
so hast du mein Herz erfreut,
Vater Helios!
und, wie Endymion,
war ich dein Liebling,
heilige Luna!

O all ihr Treuen
freundlichen Götter!
Daß ihr wüßtet,
wie euch meine Seele geliebt!

Zwar damals rief ich noch nicht
Euch mit Nahmen, auch ihr
Nanntet mich nie, wie die Menschen sich nennen
Als kennten sie sich.

Doch kannt' ich euch besser,
Als ich je die Menschen gekannt
Ich verstand die Stille des Aethers
Der Menschen Worte verstand ich nie.

Mich erzog der Wohllaut
des säuselnden Hains,
und lieben lernt' ich
unter den Blumen.

Im Arme der Götter wuchs ich groß.

Translation(s): CAT ENG ENG FRE

List of language codes

B. Britten sets stanzas 1-3, 5-7
A. Gabryś sets stanzas 1, 6-7

About the headline (FAQ)

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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "La joventut", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "The youth", copyright ©
  • ENG English (Walter A. Aue) , "When I was still a child...", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Stéphane Goldet) (Pierre de Rosamel) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:33
Line count: 33
Word count: 150

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The youth

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

When I was a boy
a god would often rescue me
from the screams and shouts of men;
there I would play, secure and good,
with the flowers of the grove,
and the breezes of the sky
would play with me.

And as you cheer the hearts
of plants
when toward you
they reach their tender arms,
so did you gladden my heart,
Father Helios!
and, like Endymion,
I was your beloved,
sacred Luna!

O all you constant,
amiable gods!
Would that you knew
how my soul loved you!

Though at that time I hardly called
you by name, nor did
you ever call me by my name as men do
when they know each other.

But I knew you better
than I ever knew any man;
I understood the silence of the Ether,
but the words of mankind I never understood.

I was brought up by the pleasind sound
of the rustling grove,
and I learned to love
beneath the flowers.

In the arms of the gods I became a man.

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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 --

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

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Based on


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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:33
Line count: 33
Word count: 172