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Ich träumt', ich war ein Vögelein

Language: German (Deutsch)

[Ich]1 träumt', ich war ein Vögelein,
Und flog auf ihren Schooß,
Und zupft' ihr, um nicht laß zu seyn,
Die Busenschleifen los.
Und flog, mit gaukelhaftem Flug,
Dann auf die weiße Hand,
Dann wieder auf das Busentuch,
Und pickt' am rothen Band.

Dann schwebt' ich auf ihr blondes Haar,
Und zwitscherte vor Lust,
Und ruhte, wann ich müde war,
An ihrer weißen Brust.
Kein Veilchenbett' im Paradies
Geht diesem Lager vor.
Wie schlief sichs da so süß, so süß,
[Auf]2 ihres Busens Flor!

Sie spielte, wie ich tiefer sank,
Mit leisem Fingerschlag,
Der mir durch [Leib und Leben]3 drang,
[Mich]4 frohen Schlummrer wach;
Sah mich so wunderfreundlich an,
Und bot den Mund mir dar,
Daß ich es nicht beschreiben kann,
Wie froh, wie froh ich war.

Da trippelt' ich auf einem Bein,
Und hatte so mein Spiel,
Und spielt' ihr mit dem Flügelein
Die rothe Wange kühl.
Doch ach! kein Erdenglück besteht,
[Es sey Tag]5 oder Nacht!
Schnell war mein süßer Traum verweht,
Und ich war aufgewacht.

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE

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Confirmed with Poetische Blumenlese Für das Jahr 1776. Von den Verfassern der bisherigen Göttinger Blumenlese, nebst einem Anhange die Freymaurerey betreffend; Herausgegeben von J.H. Voß. Lauenburg, gedruckt bey Johann Georg Berenberg, pages 230-231; with Ludwig Christoph Heinrich Hölty's Sämtliche Werke kritisch und chronologisch herausgegeben von Wilhelm Michael, Erster Band, Weimar, Gesellschaft der Bibliophilen, 1914, pages 180-181; with Gedichte von Ludewig Heinrich Christoph Hölty. Nebst Briefen des Dichters herausgegeben von Karl Halm. Leipzig: F.A. Brockhaus, 1869, pages 35-36; and with Gedichte von Ludewig Heinrich Christoph Hölty. Besorgt durch seine Freunde Friederich Leopold Grafen zu Stolberg und Johann Heinrich Voß. Hamburg, bei Carl Ernst Bohn. 1783, pages 105-106.

First published in the Hamburger Musenalmanach 1776 by Voß with the original title "Ballade". Voß subsequently changed the title into "Der Traum" in his editions of Hölty's collected poems.

1 Voß' editions, and Schubert: "Mir"
2 Voß' editions, and Schubert: "An"
3 original version (Halm edition): "jede Nerve"
4 original version (Halm and Michael editions): "Den"
5 Voß' editions since 1804, and Schubert: "Tag sei es"

Submitted by Richard Morris and Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]


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) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "De droom", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "The dream", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2019-01-25 02:32:11
Line count: 32
Word count: 167

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The dream

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

I dreamed that I was a little bird
and that I flew onto her lap
and, so as not to be idle, undid
the bow on her bosom;
and then I flitted clownlike
onto her white hand,
then again onto her bosom kerchief,
where I pecked at the red ribbon.

Then I hovered over her blonde hair,
and twittered with joy,
and rested when I was weary,
against her white breast.
No bed of violets in paradise
would I prefer to those lodgings!
How sweetly I slept, how sweetly,
against the gauze on her bosom!

As I sank deeper, she played
a light rhythm by drumming her fingers,
and it penetrated me body and soul
until it merrilly awakened my slumber;
she gazed at me with such wondrous friendliness
and bade me give her my mouth,
so that I cannot describe
how cheerful, how cheerful I was.

I hopped along on one leg
and had my game thus;
and with my wings
played with her cool cheeks;
but ah! no earthly pleasure
can last day and night!
My sweet dream quickly vanished
and I woke up.

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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:34
Line count: 32
Word count: 186