by Gottfried August Bürger (1747 - 1794)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Schön Suschen
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Schön Suschen kannt ich lange Zeit:
Schön Suschen war wohl fein;
Voll Tugend war's und Sittsamkeit:
Das sah ich klärlich ein.
Ich kam und ging, ich ging und kam,
Wie Ebb und Flut zur See.
Ganz wohl mir tat es, wenn ich kam,
[Doch, wann]1 ich ging, nicht weh.

Und es geschah, daß nach der Zeit,
Gar [andres]2 ich vernahm;
Da tat's mir, wann ich schied, so leid,
[So]3 wohl mir, [wann]4 ich kam;
Da hatt ich keinen Zeitvertreib,
Und kein Geschäft, als sie;
Da fühlt' ich ganz an Seel' und Leib,
Und fühlte nichts, als sie. 

[Da war ich]5 dumm, und stumm, und taub;
Vernahm nichts, außer ihr;
Sah nirgends blühen Blum' und Laub;
Nur Suschen blühte mir.
Nicht Sonne, Mond, und Sternenschein,
Mir glänzte nur mein Kind;
Ich sah, wie in die Sonn' hinein,
Und sah mein Auge blind. 

Und wieder kam [gar]6 andre Zeit,
Gar anders ward es mir:
Doch alle Tugend, Sittsamkeit,
Und Schönheit blieb an ihr.
Ich kam und ging, ich ging und kam,
Wie Ebb und Flut zur See.
Ganz wohl mir tat es, [wann]7 ich kam,
Doch, [wenn]8 ich ging, nicht weh. -

Ihr Weisen, hoch und tief gelahrt,
Die ihr's ersinnt, und wißt,
Wie, wo und wann sich alles paart?
Warum sich's liebt und küßt?
Ihr [hohen]9 Weisen, sagt mir's an!
Ergrübelt, was mir da,
Ergrübelt mir, wo, wie und wann,
Warum mir so geschah? -- 

Ich selber sann wohl Nacht und Tag,
Und wieder Tag und Nacht,
So wundersamen Dingen nach;
Doch hab' ich nichts erdacht. -
[Drum]10, Lieb ist wohl, wie Wind im Meer:
Sein Sausen [ihr wohl]11 hört,
Allein ihr wisset nicht, woher?
[Wißt nicht wohin er fährt?]12

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Pfitzner: "Doch, wenn"; Weis: "Und wann"
2 Weis: "anders"
3 Weis: "Und"
4 Pfitzner: "wenn"
5 Pfitzner, Weis: "Ich war wohl"
6 Weis: "zur"
7 Pfitzner, Weis: "wenn"
8 Weis: "wann"
9 Pfitzner: "stolzen"
10 Pfitzner: "Denn"
11 Pfitzner: "wohl ihr"
12 Pfitzner: "Er kommt, wohin er fährt, / Nicht wohin er fährt."


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) , "Beautiful Susie", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: John Versmoren

This text was added to the website: 2003-10-20
Line count: 48
Word count: 278

Beautiful Susie
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
I knew beautiful Susie for a long time:
Beautiful Susie was indeed a fine girl;
Full of virtue she was, and demureness:
I clearly realized that.
I came and went, I went and came,
Like the ebb and flow of the sea.
I did me very much good when I came,
[But]1 when I departed, it did not hurt.

And it happened that after a time,
I felt something quite different;
When I departed, I was so sorry,
[I]2 was so happy when I came;
Then I had no pastime,
And no business but her;
Then I felt whole in body and soul,
And felt nothing but her.

[Then I was]3 dumb and mute and deaf;
I perceived nothing besides her;
Nowhere did I see flowers and leaves burgeoning;
Only Susie bloomed for me.
Not sun, moon and the glow of stars,
For me only my darling shone;
I gazed as if into the sun,
And made my eyes blind with looking.

And again [came an utterly]4 different time,
I began to feel quite differently:
But she still had all her
Virtue, demureness and beauty.
I came and went, I went and came,
Like the ebb and flow of the sea.
I did me very much good when I came,
But when I departed, it did not hurt.

You wise men, lofty and high-learned,
You who can conceive and know
How, where and when everything pairs up?
Why [everything] loves and kisses?
You [lofty]5 wise men, tell to me!
Brood upon what happened to me,
Brood and tell me, where, how and when,
Why it happened to me thus? --

I myself have pondered night and day,
And again day and night
About such wondrous things;
But I was not able to fathom it. -
[Therefore]6 love must be like the wind in the sea:
One hears its rushing well,
Except one knows not whence[?
Knows not whither it goes?]7

View original text (without footnotes)
1 "And"
2 Weis: "And I"
3 Pfitzner, Weis: "I was quite"
4 Weis: "it came to a"
5 Pfitzner: "proud"
6 Pfitzner: "For"
7 Pfitzner: "It comes, whither it goes/ Not whither it goes."


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2017 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


This text was added to the website: 2017-05-04
Line count: 48
Word count: 319