by Walter De la Mare (1873 - 1956)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

A Song of Enchantment
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER GER
A Song of Enchantment I sang me there,
In a green-green wood, by waters fair,
Just as the words came up to me
I sang it under the wild wood tree. 

Widdershins turned I, singing it low,
Watching the wild birds come and go;
No cloud in the deep dark blue to be seen
Under the thick-thatched branches green. 

Twilight came; silence came;
The planet of Evening's silver flame;
By darkening paths I wandered through
Thickets trembling with drops of dew. 

But the music is lost and the words are gone
Of the song I sang as I sat alone,
Ages and ages have fallen on me -
On the wood and the pool and the elder tree.

Confirmed with Peacock Pie. A Book of Rhymes by Walter de la Mare, London: Constable & Co. Ltd., [1920], p. 171.


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Un chant d'enchantement", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Harald Krebs) , title 1: "Ein Lied der Verzauberung", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "Ein verwunschenes Lied", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 118

Ein verwunschenes Lied
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Ein verwunschenes Lied sang ich vor mich hin,
an schönen Wassern in Waldes Grün,
so wie es mir zuflog alsbald,
sang ich 's unterm Baum im Wald.
Dreht' mich linksrum beim leisen Singen,
sah, wie Wildvögel kamen und gingen;
kein Wölkchen am tiefblauen Himmel stand,
unter dichtem Grün ich mich fand.
Dämmerung kam; Stille trat ein;
am Himmel des Abendsterns Silberschein;
auf dunklen Pfaden querte ich Au
und Gesträuch, das tropfte von Tau.
Doch die Weise, die Worte des Lieds sind fort,
das allein ich sang am Zauberort,
Zeiten um Zeiten, gefallen auf mich,
auf das Wasser, den Wald und den Holderich1.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 mittelhochdeutsch für Schwarzer Holunder (Sambucus nigra).


  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2013 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT)

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Based on


This text was added to the website: 2013-11-08
Line count: 16
Word count: 102