by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Solang man nüchtern ist
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG FRE ITA
[Solang]1 man nüchtern ist, 
Gefällt das Schlechte;
Wie man getrunken hat, 
Weiß man das Rechte;
Nur ist das Übermaß 
Auch gleich zuhanden:
Hafis, o lehre mich, 
Wie du's verstanden!

Denn meine Meinung ist 
Nicht übertrieben:
Wenn man nicht trinken kann, 
Soll man nicht lieben;
Doch sollt ihr Trinker euch
Nicht besser dünken:
Wenn man nicht lieben kann, 
Soll man nicht trinken.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Wolf : "So lang"

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) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "For as long as you are sober", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Finché si è sobri", copyright © 2013, (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: 2014-06-16 10:01:30
Line count: 16
Word count: 61

For as long as you are sober
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
For as long as you are sober, 
you are pleased with what is bad;
When you have had a drink, 
you know what's what;
But then excess 
is on hand:
Hafiz, teach me 
how you understand this.

For my opinion 
isn't an exaggeration:
If you can't drink 
you can't love;
But then you drinkers shouldn't 
imagine yourself to be better:
If you can't love 
you can't drink.

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2006 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: 2006-03-01 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:17
Line count: 16
Word count: 67