by Wilhelm Häring (1798 - 1871), as Willibald Alexis
Translation © by Lawrence Snyder

Liebe Mutter, heut' Nacht heulte Regen...
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE ITA
"Liebe Mutter, heut' Nacht heulte Regen und Wind."--
""['s ist heute]1 der erste Mai, liebes Kind!""

"Liebe Mutter, es donnerte auf dem Brocken [oben]2!"--
""[Lieb's]3 Kind, es waren die Hexen [droben]4.""--

"Liebe Mutter, ich möcht' keine Hexen sehn."
""[Lieb's]3  Kind, es ist wohl schon oft geschehn.""

"Liebe Mutter, ob wohl im Dorf' Hexen sind?"--
""Sie sind Dir wohl näher, mein liebes Kind.""--

"[Ach]5 Mutter, worauf fliegen die Hexen zum Berg?"
""[Lieb's]3 Kind, auf dem Rauche von [glühendem]6 Werg.""

"[Ach]5 Mutter, worauf reiten die Hexen zum Spiel?"
""[Lieb's]3 Kind, sie reiten auf 'nem Besenstiel.""

"[Ach]5 Mutter, ['s standen]7 gestern im Dorf' viel Besen!"
""Es sind auch viel Hexen auf'm Brocken gewesen. ""

"[Ach]5 Mutter, [die Nacht hat's]8 im Schornstein geraucht!"
""[Lieb's]3 Kind, es hat einer das Werg gebraucht.""

"[Ach]5 Mutter, [die]9 Nacht war Dein Besen nicht zu Haus!"
""[Lieb's]3, so war er zum Blocksberg hinaus.""

"[Ach]5 Mutter, Dein Bett war leer in der Nacht!"
""Deine Mutter hat oben [auf'm Brocken]10 gewacht.""

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Willibald Alexis, "Über Balladenpoesie", in Hermes oder kritisches Jahrbuch der Literatur , Erstes Stück für das Jahr 1824, Volume XXI, Leipzig: F.A. Brockhaus, 1824, pages 107-108.

1 Loewe: "Ist heute"
2 Loewe: "droben"
3 Loewe: "Liebes"
4 Loewe: "oben"
5 Loewe: "Ach"
6 Loewe: "heissem"
7 Loewe: "ich sah"
8 Loewe: " 's hat gestern"
9 Loewe: "in der"
10 Loewe: "auf dem Blocksberg"


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

Set in a modified version by Johannes Brahms.

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

  • ENG English (Lawrence Snyder) , "Walpurgis Night", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Nuit de Walpurgis", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Notte di Valpurga", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Lawrence Snyder , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 20
Word count: 160

Walpurgis Night
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
"Dear Mother, the wind and rain howls tonight," -
"It is the first of May, my child..." 

"Dear Mother, there's thunder over the Brocken." -
"Dear child, there are witches up there."

"Dear Mother, I don't want to see any witches." -
"Dear Child, they are seen often enough."

"Dear Mother, but even in town?" -
"They're even closer, my child." 

"Dear Mother, how do they fly up to the mountain?" -
"Dear Child, on the smoke from glowing flax."

"Dear Mother, how do they ride to their gatherings?" -
"Dear Child, they ride on broomsticks."

"Dear Mother, yesterday I saw many brooms in the village." -
"Here are also many witches on the Brocken."

"Dear Mother, the chimney was smoking yesterday." -
"Dear Child, someone needed to burn flax."

"Dear Mother, last night your broom was missing." -
"Dear Child, it was over the Blocksberg."

"Dear Mother, your bed was empty last night." -
"Your Mother was awake over the Blocksberg."


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Lawrence Snyder, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 20
Word count: 162