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

Hätt ich irgend wohl Bedenken
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE ITA
Hätt ich irgend wohl Bedenken,
Balch, Bokhara, Samarkand,
Süßes Liebchen, dir zu schenken
Dieser Städte Rausch und Tand?

Aber frag einmal den Kaiser,
Ob er dir die Städte gibt?
Er ist herrlicher und weiser;
Doch er weiß nicht, wie man liebt.

Herrscher, zu dergleichen Gaben
Nimmermehr bestimmst du dich!
Solch ein Mädchen muß man haben
Und ein Bettler sein wie ich.

About the headline (FAQ)


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , title 1: "Would I even think twice about it?", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title unknown, copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , title 1: "Credi che potrei esitare", 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: 12
Word count: 61

Would I even think twice about it?
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Would I even think twice about it?
Balkh, Bukhara, Samarkand.
Dear love, imagine me presenting you
with these cities, their thrills and their trinkets.

Or how about asking the emperor
if he will give you these towns?
He is grander and wiser;
but he doesn't know how to love.

Your majesty, giving such presents
is something you will never bring yourself to do.
For this, you have to have such a girl
and you have to be a beggar, like me.


  • 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.

Based on


Text added to the website: 2006-03-01 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:17
Line count: 12
Word count: 81