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

Locken, haltet mich gefangen
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT ENG FRE ITA
Locken, haltet mich gefangen
In dem Kreise des Gesichts!
Euch, geliebten braunen Schlangen,
Zu erwidern hab' ich nichts.

Nur dies Herz, es ist von Dauer,
Schwillt in jugendlichstem Flor;
Unter Schnee und Nebelschauer
Ras't ein Aetna dir hervor.

Du beschämst wie Morgenröthe
Jener Gipfel ernste Wand,
Und noch einmal fühlet Hatem
Frühlingshauch und Sommerbrand.

Schenke her! Noch eine Flasche!
Diesen Becher bring' ich Ihr!
Findet sie ein Häufchen Asche,
Sagt sie: "Der verbrannte mir!"

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, West-östlicher Divan, Berlin, Gustav Hempel, 1872, p. 144.

Modernized spelling would use "Morgenröte" instead of "Morgenröthe"


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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2021, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "Locks of hair, keep me tied up", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Riccioli belli, tenetemi avvinto", copyright © 2012, (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: 74

Locks of hair, keep me tied up
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Locks of hair, keep me tied up
in the circle of her face!
You beloved brown snakes
I have no way of answering you back.

Only this heart is permanent,
it swells in the earliest blossoms;
Under snow and in driving mist
there is always an Etna here for you.

You cause a blush like the dawn
on the earnest face of that peak,
and once again Hatem feels
the breath of spring and the fire of summer.

Waiter, here! Another bottle.
I shall offer this glass to her.
If she sees a small pile of ash
She will say,  "He became a burnt offering to 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


This text was added to the website: 2006-03-01
Line count: 16
Word count: 107