by Christian Adolf Overbeck (1755 - 1821)
Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Das Kinderspiel
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG FRE ITA
Wir Kinder, wir schmecken
Der Freuden recht viel,
Wir schäkern und necken,
Versteht sich im Spiel;
Wir lärmen und singen
Und rennen rundum,
Und hüpfen und springen
Im Grase herum.

Warum nicht? -  Zum Murren
Ist's Zeit noch genug!
Wer wollte wohl knurren,
Der wär' ja nicht klug.
Wie lustig steh'n dorten
Die Saat und das Gras!
Beschreiben mit Worten
Kann keiner wohl das.

Ha, Brüderchen, rennet
Und wälzt euch im Gras!
Noch ist's uns vergönnet,
Noch kleidet uns das!
Ach, werden wir älter,
So schickt's  sich nicht mehr,
Dann treten wir kälter
Und steifer einher.
   
Ei, seht doch, ihr Brüder,
Den Schmetterling da!
Wer wirft ihn uns nieder?
Doch schonet ihn ja!
Dort flattert noch einer,
Der ist wohl sein Freund,
O schlag' ihn ja keiner,
Weil jener sonst weint.

Wird dort nicht gesungen?
Wie herrlich das klingt!
Vortrefflich, ihr Jungen,
die Nachtigall singt.
Dort sitzt sie, dort oben
Im Apfelbaum, dort;
Wir wollen sie loben,
So fährt sie wohl fort.

Komm Liebchen hernieder
Und lass' dich beseh'n!
Wer lehrt dich die Lieder?
Du machst es recht schön!
O lass' dich nicht stören,
Du Vögelchen du!
Wir alle, wir hören
So gerne dir zu.

Wo ist sie geblieben?
Wir seh'n sie nicht mehr.
Da flattert sie drüben.
Komm wieder hier her!
Vergeblich, die Freude
Ist diesmal vorbei:
Ihr tat wer zu Leide,
Sei, was es auch sei.  

Laßt Kränzchen uns winden,
Viel Blumen sind hier.
Wer Veilchen wird finden,
Empfängt was dafür.
Ein Mäulchen zur Gabe
Gibt Mutter, wohl zwei.
Juchheisa! Ich habe,
Ich hab' eins, juchhei!

Ach, geht sie schon unter,
Die Sonne, so früh?
Wir sind ja noch munter,
Ach, Sonne verzieh'!
Nun morgen, ihr Brüder,
Schlaft wohl, gute Nacht!
Ja, morgen wird wieder
Gespielt und gelacht.

W. Mozart sets stanzas 1, 4, 5, 8, 9

Authorship

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):

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Kinderspel", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "Children at play", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Jeu d'enfants", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Gioco dei bambini", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2016-02-29 16:13:25
Line count: 72
Word count: 290

Children at play
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
We children, we have a taste
For pleasure, we really like it,
We mess about and tease people,
When we are playing, needless to say;
We make a noise and we sing
And we run around,
And hop and jump
About in the grass.

Why not? - Grumbling?
There will be enough time for that later!
Anybody who wanted to moan
Would not be very clever.
What fun there is out there
With the corn and the grass!
Describe it with words?
Nobody can ever do that.

Hey, little brothers, run
And roll around in the grass!
We are still allowed to do that,
It is something that is still suitable for us to do!
Oh, when we are older
It will no longer be appropriate,
By then we will have a colder,
More rigid bearing.

Hey, look at that, brothers,
Look at that butterfly there!
Who wants to catch it for us?
Oh no, just let him go!
There's another one flapping about over there,
Who must be his friend,
So don't hit him any of you
Otherwise that other one will cry.

Isn't that singing I can hear over there?
How majestic it sounds!
Young people, how splendidly
The nightingale is singing.
That's where she is sitting, up there
In the apple tree, there;
We ought to praise her
Then she will carry on singing.

Come down here, love,
And let yourself be admired!
Who teaches you those songs?
You are doing it really beautifully!
Oh, don't let yourself be disturbed,
You little bird, you!
All of us are listening 
To you with such pleasure.

Where is she, is she still there?
We can't see her any more.
She is up there, flying off.
Come back here!
In vain, the pleasure
Has come to an end this time:
Somebody did something to hurt her,
Whatever it was.

Let us plait ourselves a garland,
There are lots of flowers here.
Anybody who finds violets
Will get something in exchange for them!
The gift of a little kiss
Is what your mother will give you, possibly two.
Yippee! I've got one,
I've got one, yippee!

Oh, is it going down already,
Is the sun setting so early?
But we are still up and about,
Oh sun, forgive us!
So, see you tomorrow brothers,
Sleep well, good night!
Yes, tomorrow there is again going to be 
Play and laughter.

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2018 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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Text added to the website: 2018-04-11 00:00:00
Last modified: 2018-04-11 17:47:11
Line count: 72
Word count: 398