by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
Translation © by Knut W. Barde

Gutmann und Gutweib
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Available translation(s): CAT ENG FRE ITA
Und morgen fällt Sankt Martins Fest,
Gutweib liebt ihren Mann;
Da knetet sie ihm Puddings ein
Und bäckt sie in der Pfann'.

Im Bette liegen beide nun,
Da saus't ein wilder West;
Und Gutmann spricht zur guten Frau:
Du riegle die Thüre fest.

Bin kaum erholt und halb erwarmt,
Wie käm' ich da zu Ruh;
Und klapperte sie ein hundert Jahr
Ich riegelte sie nicht zu.

Drauf eine Wette schlossen sie 
Ganz leise sich ins Ohr:
So wer das erste Wörtlein spräch'
Der schöbe den Riegel vor.

Zwei Wanderer kommen um Mitternacht
Und wissen nicht wo sie stehn,
Die Lampe losch, der Herd verglomm,
Zu hören ist nichts, zu sehn.

Was ist das für ein Hexen-Ort?
Da bricht uns die Geduld!
Doch hörten sie kein Sterbenswort,
Deß war die Thüre schuld.

Den weißen Pudding speis'ten sie,
Den schwarzen ganz vertraut.
Und Gutweib sagt sich selberviel,
Doch keine Silbe laut.

Zu Diesem sprach der Jene dann:
Wie trocken ist mir der Hals!
Der Schrank, der klafft, und geistig riechts's,
Da findet sich's allenfalls.

Ein Fläschen Schnapps ergreif' ich da,
Das trifft sich doch geschickt!
Ich bring' es dir, du bringst es mir,
Und bald sind wir erquickt.

Doch Gutmann sprang so heftig auf
Und fuhr sie drohend an:
Bezahlen soll mit theurem Geld
Wer mir den Schnapps verthan!

Und Gutweib sprang auch froh heran,
Drei Sprünge, als wär' sie reich:
Du, Gutmann, sprachst das erste Wort,
Nun riegle die Thüre gleich!

Confirmed with Goethe's sämmtliche Werke, Erster Band, Stuttgart und Tübingen, J. G. Cotta'scher Buchhandlung, 1854, pages 44-45.


Authorship:

Based on:

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) , "El bon home i la bona dona", copyright © 2021, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Knut W. Barde) , "Goodman and Goodwife", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Papa et Maman", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Bravuomo e Bravadonna", copyright © 2009, (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: 44
Word count: 240

Goodman and Goodwife
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
And tomorrow is the feast of St. Martin,
Goodwife loves her husband;
So she kneads puddings for him
And bakes them in a pan.

As both are now lying in bed,
a wild wind blows from the west;
and Goodman says to the good wife:
You, go bolt the door.

I have barely recovered and am only
half warmed up, how can I rest;
And if it rattled for a hundred years,
I would not bolt it.

So they made a wager
and spoke it softly in each other's ear;
whoever would say the tiniest first word
would have to bolt the door.

Two wanderers come by around midnight
and know not where they stand,
the lamp is out, the stove burned down,
nothing can be heard or seen.

What kind of bewitched place is this?
We are losing patience here!
But they didn't hear a single word,
which was the fault of the door.

They ate the white pudding,
the black one too, quite comfortably.
And Goodwife talks to herself a lot,
but not a syllable out loud.

This one then says to that one:
How parched is my throat!
The cupboard is ajar and smells of spirits,
that's where it should be found.

I'm getting a little bottle of brandy;
doesn't that come in handy!
I'll bring it to you, and you to me,
and soon we'll be revived.

But Goodman jumped up wildly
and went at them with threats:
I shall be paid with good money
by those who waste my brandy!

And Goodwife also jumped up joyfully,
three hops, as if she were rich:
You, Goodman, spoke the first word
now quick and bolt the door!

Authorship:

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2006 by Knut W. Barde, (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:

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This text was added to the website: 2006-10-03
Line count: 44
Word count: 280