Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Grüner wird die Au
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Grüner wird die Au,
Und der Himmel blau;
Schwalben kehren wieder,
Und die Erstlingslieder
Kleiner Vögelein
Zwitschern durch den Hain.

Aus dem Blütenstrauch
Weht der Liebe Hauch:
Seit der Lenz erschienen,
Waltet sie im Grünen,
Malt die Blumen bunt,
Roth des Mädchens Mund.

Brüder, küsset ihn!
Denn die Jahre fliehn!
[Einen Kuß in Ehren
Kann euch niemand wehren!]1
Küßt ihn, Brüder, küßt,
Weil er [kußlich]2 ist!

Seht, der Tauber girrt,
Seht, der Tauber schwirrt
Um sein liebes Täubchen!
Nehmt euch auch ein Weibchen,
Wie der Tauber thut,
Und seid wohlgemut!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von Ludewig Heinrich Christoph Hölty. Besorgt durch seine Freunde Friederich Leopold Grafen zu Stolberg und Johann Heinrich Voß. Carlsruhe, bey Christian Gottlieb Schmieder, 1784, pages 22-23, and with Poetische Blumenlese für das Jahr 1779. Herausgegeben von Joh. Heinr. Voß. Hamburg, bei Carl Ernst Bohn, pages 7-8.

This is Hölty's poem in its first version, posthumously printed in the first edition (edited by Voß). Hölty's poem exists in 6 manuscript copies, later versions differ significantly (see below).

1 1779 edition: "Da wir küßen können, / Und von Liebe brennen!"
2 Schubert: "küßlich"


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Another version of this text exists in the database.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Meilied", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "May song", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Chant de mai", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 90

May song
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
The meadow is becoming greener,
And the sky is becoming blue;
The swallows are returning
And the first songs
Of the little birds
Warble through the grove.

From the blossoming bush
The breath of love wafts forth:
Since spring has come,
[Love] prevails in the greenery,
Colours the flowers with many hues,
[Colours] the maiden’s lips red.

Brethren, kiss them!
For the years are fleeing!
[Surely no one would deny you
One honourably-bestowed kiss!]
Kiss them, brethren, kiss them,
Because they are so kissable!

Lo, the male dove is cooing,
Lo, the male dove is fluttering
About his dear dove!
You, too, take a wife,
Like the male dove does,
And be of good cheer!

View original text (without footnotes)
1 1779 edition: "[The years] in which we may kiss, / And burn with love!"


  • 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: 2017-07-01
Line count: 24
Word count: 115