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

Nimm dir ein schönes Weib, doch schön...
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the Italian (Italiano) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Nimm dir ein schönes Weib, doch schön mit Maßen,
Zu große Schönheit weckt dir Scheu und Bangen.
Und nimm sie ja recht fügsam und gelassen,
Schlank um die Mitte, schmiegsam wie die Schlangen.
Mußt du ihr dann ein [Röckchen]1 machen lassen,
Wirst du mit wen'ger Seid' und Futter langen,
Und wenn du sie umarmst, ist dir zu Mute,
Als hieltst du einen Blumenstrauß umfangen.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Paul Heyse, Italienisches Liederbuch, Berlin: Verlag von Wilhelm Hertz (Bessersche Buchhandlung), 1860, page 64.

1 Gund: "Röcklein"


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) , 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: 2009-05-14
Line count: 8
Word count: 64

Take a beautiful wife, but beautiful in...
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Take a beautiful wife, but beautiful in moderation;
Too great a beauty will only awaken awe and anxiety within you.
And take one that is nicely docile and equable,
Slender about the middle, supple as a snake.
If you then need to have a skirt made for her,
You will get away with less silk and lining,
And when you embrace her, you will think
That you are holding a bouquet of flowers in your arms.

About the headline (FAQ)

English song title (Gund): Good advice
English song title (Marx): Take a beautiful wife


  • 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.

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This text was added to the website: 2013-12-11
Line count: 8
Word count: 76