by Friedrich von Köpken (1737 - 1811)
Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Freude der Kinderjahre
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Freude, die [in frühem]1 Lenze
Meinem Haupte Blumen wand,
Sieh, noch duften deine Kränze,
Noch geh' ich an deiner Hand.
Selbst der Kindheit Knospen blühen
Auf in meiner Fantasie;
Und mit [frischem Reize]2 glühen
Noch in meinem Herbste sie.

Früh schon kannt' ich dich! du wehtest
Froh bei jedem Spiel um mich,
Sprangst in meinem Balle, drehtest
Leicht in meinem Kreisel dich;
Liefst mit mir durch [Grab]3 und Hecken
Flüchtig Schmetterlingen nach,
Rittest mit auf bunten Stecken,
Wirbeltest im Trommelschlag.

Stürmte mit beeisten Locken
Auch der Winter wild daher:
O in seines Schnees Flocken
Sah ich nur der Spiele mehr:
Du, du selber, sprangest mitten
Durch gethürmten Schnee mir vor,
Saßest mit im kleinen Schlitten,
Oder spanntest dich davor.

Kamen auch zuweilen Sorgen:
Kindersorgen sind nicht groß!
Froh hüpft' ich am andern Morgen,
Schaukelte die Sorgen los;
Kletterte dir nach auf Bäume,
Wälzte müd' im Grase mich;
Und entschlief ich: süße Träume
Zeigten mir im Bilde dich!

Selig flohen Tag' und Jahre
So an deiner Hand mir hin! -
Bleicht der Herbst auch meine Haare;
Doch bleibt mir dein froher Sinn.
Kommt mein Winter; unvergessen
Sei auch dann dein Freund von dir;
Noch um meines Grabs Cypressen
Schlinge deine Rosen mir!

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Musen-Almanach fürs Jahr 1795. Herausgegeben von Johann Heinrich Voß. Hamburg bei Carl Ernst Bohn, pages 9-11.

This is the original version of Köpken's poem. In 1801 he published a substantially revised version in his Episteln, see below.

Note: When this Schubert song was published by Friedlaender, only the first stanza of the poem was at hand, so he asked Max Kalbeck to provide an additional stanza, which was then included in the publication. This stanza can be found here.

1 Schubert: "im frühen"
2 Schubert (Neue Gesamtausgabe): "frischen Rosen"
3 Schubert (Alte und Neue Gesamtausgabe): "Gras"

Authorship

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

Set in a modified version by Johann Friedrich Reichardt.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "La joia dels anys d’infantesa", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "The joy of childhood years", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Joie de l'enfance", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website: 2009-10-03 00:00:00
Last modified: 2019-07-07 12:32:36
Line count: 40
Word count: 201

The joy of childhood years
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Joy, which in early spring
Wrapped flowers around my head,
Look! Your wreaths are still fragrant,
I am still walking hand in hand with you.
Even the buds of childhood are still coming into
Bloom in my imagination;
And they glow with [fresh attractions]1
Even now in my autumn time.

I got to know you very early! You hovered
Happily around me in all my games,
You bounced with my ball, you span
Lightly with my top;
You ran with me through [ditches]2 and hedges
Chasing butterflies,
You rode with me on bright sticks
And swirled around as I struck my drum.

Storming in with frozen locks of hair 
Savage winter also arrived;
But in its snow flakes
All I saw was more games:
You yourself, you jumped and 
Joined in as I went through the snow drifts,
You sat with me on small sledges
Or you stretched yourself out in front of me.

Even if, from time to time, cares came along:
The cares of children are not big!
The following morning I would spring up early
And shake off the cares;
I would approach you by climbing trees
Or by rolling around in the grass;
And when I went to sleep sweet dreams
Would show me your image!

Days and years flew past happily
In this way, hand in hand with you! -
Even though autumn has now whitened my hair,
Your jolly mood still remains with me.
When my winter arrives, you will not forget
Your friend even then;
Even around my grave's cypress trees
Let your roses encircle me!

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Schubert: "fresh roses"
2 Schubert: "grass"

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: 2017-09-27 00:00:00
Last modified: 2017-10-06 14:45:59
Line count: 40
Word count: 263