sometimes misattributed to Anton Plattner (1787 - 1855) and possibly by Eduard Platner (1786 - 1860)
Translation © by Laura Prichard

Die Blumensprache
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Es deuten die Blumen des Herzens Gefühle,
Sie sprechen manch heimliches Wort;
Sie neigen sich traulich am schwankenden Stiele,
Als zöge die Liebe sie fort.
Sie bergen verschämt sich im deckenden Laube,
Als hätte verrathen der Wunsch sie dem Raube.

Sie deuten im leise bezaubernden Bilde
Der Frauen, der [Mägdelein]1 Sinn;
Sie deuten, das Schöne, die Anmuth, die Milde,
Sie deuten des Lebens Gewinn:
Es hat mit der Knospe, so heimlich verschlungen,
Der Jüngling die Perle der Hoffnung [errungen]2.

Sie weben der Sehnsucht, des Harmes Gedanken
Aus Farben ins duftige Kleid.
Nichts frommen der Trennung gehässige Schranken,
Die Blumen verkünden das Leid.
Was laut nicht der Mund, der bewachte, darf sagen,
Das waget die Huld sich in Blumen zu klagen.

Sie winken in lieblich gewundenen Kränzen
Die Freude zum festlichen Kreis,
Wenn flatternd das ringelnde Haar sie umglänzen,
Dem Bacchus, der Venus zum Preis;
Denn arm sind der Götter erfreuende Gaben,
Wenn Leier und Blumen das Herz nicht erlaben.

F. Schubert sets stanzas 1-3

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Taschenbuch zum geselligen Vergnügen. Funfzehnter Jahrgang. 1805. Herausgegeben von W. G. Becker. Leipzig, bei Christian Adolph Hempel, pages 165-166. The author is only denoted by "Pl.".

1 Schubert: "Mädchen"
2 Schubert: "gefunden"

Authorship

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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "El llenguatge de les flors", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "De taal der bloemen", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , "The language of flowers", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Le langage des fleurs", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2018-02-13 07:26:25
Line count: 24
Word count: 159

The language of flowers
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Flowers reveal the heart’s feelings,
They speak many a secret word,
They bow down confidentially on wavering stems,
As if love pulled them down.
They hide coyly in the bedeckt arbor,
As though desire might betray them to a thief. 

They revel, in a soft, enchanting image,
The nature of women, of [maidens]1;
They reveal beauty, grace, gentleness,
They reveal life’s prize:
It is in the bud, so secretly entwined,
[Where] youth may [win]2 hope's pearl.

They weave together thoughts of longing [and] grief,
From colored [strands] into fragrant clothing,
Nothing is accomplished by the bonds of hateful separation,
the flowers announce [our[ sorrow.
What the loud mouth, out of caution, may not say,
May be lamented by flowers.

They recall, with lovely, entwined garlands,
The joy of festive circle dances,
When their ringlets catch the light,
Of Bacchus, Venus’ prize;
For poor are the pleasing gifts of the gods,
When lyre and flowers can’t refresh the heart.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Schubert: "girls" or "maidens" (the more modern spelling)
2 Schubert: "find"

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2016 by Laura Prichard, (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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Text added to the website: 2016-05-17 00:00:00
Last modified: 2018-02-16 17:32:19
Line count: 24
Word count: 158