Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Trinklied im Mai
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Bekränzet die Tonnen,
Und zapfet mir Wein;
Der Mai ist begonnen,
Wir müssen uns freun!
Die Winde verstummen,
Und athmen noch kaum;
Die Bienlein umsummen
Den blühenden Baum.

Die Nachtigall flötet
Im grünen Gebüsch;
Das Abendlicht röthet
Uns Gläser und Tisch.
Bekränzet die Tonnen,
Und zapfet mir Wein;
Der Mai ist begonnen,
Wir müssen uns freun!

Zum Mahle, zum Mahle,
Die Flaschen herbei!
Zween volle Pokale
Gebühren dem Mai.
Er träuft auf die Blüten
Sein Roth und sein Weiß;
Die Vögelein brüten
Im Schatten des Mais.

Er schenket dem Haine
Verliebten Gesang,
Und Gläsern beim Weine,
Melodischen Klang;
Giebt Mädchen und Knaben
Ein Minnegefühl,
Und herrliche Gaben
Zum Kuß und zum Spiel.

Ihr Jüngling', ihr Schönen,
Gebt Dank ihm und Preis!
Laßt Gläser ertönen
Zur Ehre des Mais!
Es grüne die Laube,
Die Küsse verschließt!
Es wachse die Traube,
Der Nektar entfließt!

Es blühe der Rasen,
Wo Liebende gehn,
Wo Tanten und Basen
Die Küsse nicht sehn!
Ihr lachenden Lüfte,
Bleibt heiter und hell!
Ihr Blüten voll Düfte,
Verweht nicht so schnell!

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 39-41; and with Poetische Blumenlese für das Jahr 1777. Herausgegeben von Joh. Heinr. Voß. Hamburg, bey Carl Ernst Bohn, pages 23-25.

Note: This is the version as published by Voß. The initial version of this poem, according to Hölty's manuscript, has two more stanzas and is quite different (see below).


Authorship

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) , "Cant bàquic al maig", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Drinklied in Mei", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "Drinking song in May", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Chanson à boire en mai", copyright © 2017, (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: 2004-01-12
Line count: 48
Word count: 172

Drinking song in May
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Put a garland around the barrels,
And pour me some wine;
May has begun,
We have to enjoy ourselves!
The winds are settling down
And are now hardly breathing;
The little bees are buzzing around
The blossoming tree.

The nightingale is singing
In the green shrubs;
The evening light is giving a red glow
To our glasses and table.
Put a garland around the barrels,
And pour me some wine;
May has begun,
We have to enjoy ourselves!

It's time to eat - to the table - 
With your glasses to hand!
A pair of brimming beakers
Is what May deserves.
Let May drip onto the blossoms,
Its red and its white;
The little birds are sitting on their nests
In May's shadows.

It sends into the grove
A beloved song,
And glasses filled with wine
Have a melodious sound;
It gives girls and lads
A feeling of love,
And magnificent gifts
For kissing and for playing.

You young people, you beautiful people,
Give it thanks and praise!
Let glasses ring out
In honour of May!
Let the foliage turn green,
Seal up the kisses!
Let the grape swell,
Let the nectar flow!

Let the lawn blossom
Where lovers go,
Where aunts and old maids
Cannot see the kisses!
You smiling breezes
Remain cheerful and bright!
You blossoms full of scent
Do not fly off so quickly!

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2017 by Malcolm Wren, (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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Based on

 

This text was added to the website: 2017-08-11
Line count: 48
Word count: 227