by Johann Peter Uz (1720 - 1796)
Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Die Liebesgötter
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Cypris1, meiner Phyllis gleich,
Saß von Grazien umgeben!
Denn ich sah ihr frohes Reich;
Mich berauschten Cyperns Reben.
Ein geweihter Myrthenwald,
Den geheime Schatten schwärzten,
War der Göttinn Aufenthalt,
Wo die Liebesgötter scherzten.

Viele gingen Paar bey Paar:
Andre sungen, die ich kannte,
Deren Auge schalkhaft war,
Und voll schlauer Wollust brannte.
Viele flogen rüstig aus,
Mit dem Bogen in der Rechten.
Viele waren nicht zu Haus;
Weil sie bey Lyäen2 zechten. 

Der voll blöder Unschuld schien, 
Herrscht auf stillen Schäferauen. 
Feuerreich, verschwiegen, kühn 
Sah der Liebling junger Frauen. 
Doch, ermüdet hingekrümmt, 
Schlief der Liebesgott der Ehen: 
[Und Cythere, sehr ergrimmt, 
Hieß ihn auch zum Bacchus gehen.]3

Unter grüner Büsche Nacht,
Unter abgelegnen Sträuchen,
Wo so manche Nymphe lacht,
Sah ich sie am liebsten schleichen.
Viele flohn mit leichtem Fuß
Allen Zwang bethränter Ketten,
Flatterten von Kuß zu Kuß
Und von Blonden zu Brunetten.

Kleine Götter voller List,
Deren Pfeil kein Herz verfehlet,
Und vom Nectar trunken ist,
Ob er gleich die Thoren quälet:
[Bleibt, ach! bleibt noch lange Zeit,]4
Meine Jugend froh zu machen!
[Wann ihr einst entwichen seyd,
Will ich bey Lyäen lachen.]5

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Sämtliche Poetische Werke von J. P. Uz. Erster Band. Leipzig in der Dykischen Buchhandlung. 1768, pages 72-74; and with Poetische Werke von Johann Peter Uz. Zweyter Band. Nach seinen eigenhändigen Verbesserungen herausgegeben von Christian Felix Weisse. Wien. Bey J. V. Degen, Buchdrucker und Buchhändler. 1805, pages 58-59.

First published 1749 in a different version (see below).

1 Cypris: anther name for Aphrodite.
2 Lyäen, or Lyaeus: another name for Dionysus (Bacchus).
3 Uz (1767 edition): "Zu Lyäen hieß, ergrimmt, / Venus diesen Schäfer gehen."
4 Uz (1767 edition): "Bleibt auf meinen Ruf bereit,"
5 Uz (1767 edition): "In der Jugend Frühlingszeit / Wünsch ich unter euch zu lachen."

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) , "Els déus de l'amor", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "De liefdesgodjes", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "The Cupids", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Les dieux de l'amour", copyright © 2010, (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: 2018-01-21 11:34:09
Line count: 40
Word count: 185

The Cupids
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Cypris, like my Phyllis,
Sat surrounded by Graces!
For I was able to see her merry empire;
I was intoxicated by the grapes of Cyprus.
A consecrated myrtle wood,
Which was blackened by secret shadows,
Was the abode of the goddess
Where the Cupids played.

Many of them were walking two by two:
Others that I knew were singing,
Their eyes were mischievous
And burned with cunning sensuality.
Many of them were flying off energetically
With bows in their right hand.
Many of them were not at home
Since they were carousing with Lyäos.

The one that appeared to be full of shy innocence
Was the master over quiet pastures.
Full of fire, discreet, bold,
The favourite looked at young women.
But, having collapsed with exhaustion
The Cupid of Marriage was asleep:
And Cythere, very angry,
Ordered him to go to Bacchus as well.

Under the night of green bushes,
Under discarded shrubs
Where so many Nymphs laugh
I saw that they preferred to steal away there.
With light feet many fled from 
All the compulsion of the chains that had produced tears,
They fluttered from kiss to kiss
And from blondes to brunettes.

Little gods full of cunning,
Whose arrows never fail to hit the heart,
And who are drunk with nectar,
Even though it torments fools:
Stay, oh stay for a long time yet
To make my youth enjoyable!
When eventually you run away
I shall laugh with Lyäos.

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

 

Text added to the website: 2017-08-27 00:00:00
Last modified: 2017-08-27 13:39:50
Line count: 40
Word count: 241