by Paul Heyse (1830 - 1914)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Sie sagen mir, daß meine Wangen schwarz...
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the Italian (Italiano) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Sie sagen mir, daß meine Wangen schwarz sind,
Doch wächs't das beste Korn in schwarzem Land,
Und sieh doch nur die Nelken, wie sie schwarz sind,
Und doch so gern trägt man sie in der Hand.
  Sie sagen mir, mein Liebster sei zu braun;
Mir deucht er wie ein Engel anzuschau'n. 
  Sie sagen mir, schwarz sei mein liebster Freund,
Der mir ein Engel doch vom Himmel scheint.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Paul Heyse, Italienisches Liederbuch, Berlin: Verlag von Wilhelm Hertz (Bessersche Buchhandlung), 1860, page 51.


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) , "The beloved speaks", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "La bien-aimée dit", copyright © 2021, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2010-03-10
Line count: 8
Word count: 67

The beloved speaks
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
They tell me that my cheeks are dark,
Yet the best wheat grows in dark soil,
And only look at the carnations, how dark they are,
And yet one carries them in one's hands so gladly.
 They tell me that my beloved is too brown;
To me he is like an angel to gaze upon.
 They tell me, dark is my most beloved friend,
Who seems to me to be an angel from heaven.


  • 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 onBased on


This text was added to the website: 2013-12-06
Line count: 8
Word count: 74