You can help us modernize! The present website has been online for a very long time and we want to bring it up to date. As of April 20, we are $4,600 away from our goal of $15,000 to fund the project. The fully redesigned site will be better for mobile, easier to read and navigate, and ready for the next decade. Please give today and join dozens of other supporters in making this important renovation possible!

The LiederNet Archive
WARNING. Not all the material on this website is in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission.
For more information, contact us at the following address:
licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net

Die Knabenzeit

Language: German (Deutsch)

Wie glücklich, wem das Knabenkleid
Noch um die Schultern fliegt!
Nie lästert er die böse Zeit,
Stets munter und vergnügt.

Das hölzerne Husarenschwert
Belustiget ihn itzt,
Der Kreisel, und das Steckenpferd,
Auf dem er herrisch sitzt.

Und schwinget er durch blaue Luft
Den buntgestreiften Ball;
So achtet er nicht Blüthenduft,
Nicht Lerch' und Nachtigall.
Nichts trübt ihm, nichts in weiter Welt,
Sein heitres Angesicht,
Als wenn sein Ball ins Wasser fällt,
Als wenn sein Schwert zerbricht.

O Knabe, spiel' und laufe nur,
Den lieben langen Tag,
Durch Garten und durch grüne Flur
Den Schmetterlingen nach.

Bald schwitzest du, nicht immer froh,
Im engen Kämmerlein,
Und lernst vom dicken Cicero
Verschimmeltes Latein!

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE

List of language codes

View text with footnotes

Confirmed with Gedichte von L. H. Ch. Hölty. Neu besorgt und vermehrt von Johann Heinrich Voß. Wien, 1815. Bey Chr. Kaulfuß und C. Armbruster. Gedruckt bey Anton Strauß, pages 112-113; and with Gedichte von Ludewig Heinrich Christoph Hölty. Neu besorgt und vermehrt von Johann Heinrich Voss. Hamburg, bei Carl Ernst Bohn. 1804, pages 139-140.

This is the version of Hölty's poem heavily reworked by Voß. For the original version from Hölty's manuscript, with 7 stanzas, see below.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator] 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)

Another version of this text exists in the database.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "El temps de la minyonesa", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "De jongenstijd", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "The time of boyhood", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • 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: 2017-07-29 22:29:26
Line count: 24
Word count: 111

Gentle Reminder
This website began in 1995 as a personal project, and I have been working on it full-time without a salary since 2008. Our research has never had any government or institutional funding, so if you found the information here useful, please consider making a donation. Your gift is greatly appreciated.
     - Emily Ezust

Browse (Petrucci Music Library) for Lieder or choral works