by Christian Morgenstern (1871 - 1914)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Auf der Bank im Walde
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Auf der Bank im Walde
han sich gestern zwei geküßt.
Heute kommt die Nachtigall
und holt sich, was geblieben ist.

Das Mädchen hat beim Scheiden
die Zöpfe neu sich aufgesteckt...
Ei, wie viel blonde Seide
da die Nachtigall entdeckt!

Den Schnabel voller Fäden,
kehrt Nachtigall nach [Haus]1
und legt das zarte Nestchen
mit ihrem Golde aus.

Freund Nachtigall, Freund Nachtigall,
so bleib's in allen Jahren!
Mir werd' ein Schnäblein voll Gesang,
dir eins voll Liebchens Haaren!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Reger: "Haus zurück"


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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

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

  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , copyright © 2016
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Gracieux contrat", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 76

In the woods along the riverbank
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
In the woods along the riverbank
Two sweethearts kissed each other yesterday.
Today the nightingale came 
To fetch what remained.

On parting, the girl 
Had braided her hair again,
Ei, how much golden silk
Did the nightingale discover! 

His beak full of thread,
The nightingale returned home
And lined his delicate little nest
With his gold.

Friend nightingale, friend nightingale, 
Let it remain this way for all the years to come!
Let my mouth be full of song,
And let [your beak] be full of my beloved's hair!

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "Anmuthiger Vertrag" = "A charming pact"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2016 by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive --

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2016-12-25
Line count: 16
Word count: 88