Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Nachtigall, o Nachtigall!
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the Russian (Русский) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Nachtigall, o Nachtigall!
Sangeshelle Nachtigall!
Sag', wohin, wohin dich schwingst,
Wo die ganze Nacht du singst?
Welche Arme mag, gleich mir,
Trostbedürftig lauschen dir,
Die zur Nacht das Aug' nicht schließt,
Weil's von Tränen überfließt!

Flieg, durchfliege Nachtigall,
Rings die weiten Lande all --
Fliege über's blaue Meer,
Lug' auf fremdem Strand umher,
Sieh in Stadt und Lande zu,
Nirgend, nirgend findest du
Eine Maid in Dorf und Stadt,
Die, wie ich, zu leiden hat.

Auf der Brust mir armem Ding
Eine Schnur von Perlen hing;
Ach, ich trug auch, armes Ding,
Auf dem Finger einen Ring,
Und im Herzen treu und mild
Trug ich meines Liebsten Bild!
Doch im Herbst verloren ganz
Meine Perlen ihren Glanz --
Und in Wintersnacht mein Ring
An der Hand in Stücke ging.
Jetzt im Frühling wein' ich sehr:
Habe keinen Liebsten mehr!

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Friedrich Bodenstedt, Alte und neue Gedichte, Erster Band, Berlin: Verlag der Königlichen Geheimen Ober-Hofbuchdruckerei (R.v. Decker), 1867, page 140.


Based on:

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):

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "Nightingale, oh nightingale!", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2009-09-03
Line count: 28
Word count: 137

Nightingale, oh nightingale!
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Nightingale, oh nightingale!
Nightingale bright with song!
Tell me, whither, whither do you soar,
Where you sing the entire night?
What poor woman, just like me
In need of comfort, might be listening to you,
[A woman] who does not close her eyes all night
Because they are overflowing with tears!
Fly, nightingale, fly through
All the broad countries round about --
Fly across the blue ocean,
Look about upon the foreign shore,
Look in city and country,
Nowhere, nowhere will you find
A maiden in a village or a city
That is suffering as I am!
Upon the breast of the poor thing that I am
A string of pearls hung;
Ah, I, poor thing, also wore
A ring upon my finger,
And in my heart, faithfully and gently,
I carried the image of my beloved!
But in autumn my pearls
Completely lost their shine --
And on a winter's night my ring
Broke into pieces upon my hand.
Now in springtime I weep mightily:
For I no longer have a beloved!

English poem and song title (Bronsart): Nightingale, oh nightingale
English song title (Jensen): The nightingale


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2013 by Sharon Krebs, (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:

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This text was added to the website: 2013-10-25
Line count: 28
Word count: 171