by Johann Georg Jacobi (1740 - 1814)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Sagt, wo sind die Veilchen hin?
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
[Sagt]1, wo sind die Veilchen hin?
Die so freudig glänzten,
Und der Blumen-Königinn [sic]
Ihren Weg bekränzten?
     "Jüngling, ach! Der Lenz entflieht:
     "Diese Veilchen sind verblüht!"
Sagt, wo sind die Rosen hin?
Die wir singend pflückten,
Als sich Hirt' und Schäferinn
Hut und Busen schmückten?
     "Mädchen, ach! Der Sommer flieht:
     "[Jene]2 Rosen sind verblüht!"
Führe denn zum Bächlein mich,
Das die Veilchen tränkte;
Das mit leisem Murmeln sich,
In die Thäler senkte.
     "Luft und Sonne glühten sehr:
     "Jenes Bächlein ist nicht mehr!"
Bringe denn zur Laube mich,
Wo die Rosen standen,
Wo in treuer Liebe sich
Hirt' und Mädchen fanden.
     "Wind und Hagel stürmten sehr:
     "Jene Laube grünt nicht mehr."
Sagt, wo ist das Mädchen hin,
Das, weil ich's erblickte,
Sich mit demuthvollem Sinn
Zu den Veilchen bückte?
     "Jüngling! alle Schönheit flieht:
     "Auch das Mädchen ist verblüht.["]
Sagt, wo ist der Sänger hin,
Der auf bunten Wiesen
Veilchen, Ros' und Schäferinn;
Laub und Bach gepriesen?
     "Mädchen, unser Leben flieht:
     "Auch der Sänger ist verblüht."

J. Lang sets stanzas 1-3

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with J.G. Jacobi's sämmtliche Werke, Volume 3, third edition, Zürich: Orell, Füßli und Compagnie, 1819, pages 51-53.

1 Baumbach, Berger: "Sag' "; further changes may exist not shown above.
2 Lang: "Diese"


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):

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "After an old song", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 36
Word count: 164

After an old song
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Tell me, where have the violets gone
That shone so happily
And garlanded the pathway
Of the Queen of Flowers?
     "Young man, ah! Spring is fleeting:
     "These violets have faded!"
Ah tell me, where have the roses gone?
That we picked while singing,
When the shepherd and shepherdess
Were decorating hat and bosom [with roses]?
     "Young maiden, ah! Summer is fleeting:
     "[These]1 roses have faded!"
Lead me to the little brook
That watered the violets;
[The brook] that descended
Into the valleys with quiet murmuring.
     "The winds and sun were very hot:
     "That little brook no longer exists!"
Take me to the arbour then,
Where the roses stood,
Where in faithful love
The shepherd and the maiden found each other.
     "Wind and hail stormed mightily:
     "That arbour is no longer green with leaves."
Tell me, where has the maiden gone,
Who, because I looked at her,
With a humble demeanor
Bowed down to the violets?
     "Young man!  All beauty is fleeting:
     "That young maiden, too, has lost her bloom.["]
Tell me, where has the singer gone,
Who upon the flowery meadow
Praised the violets, roses and shepherdess,
[And the] foliage and brook?
     "Maiden, our life passes away:
     "The singer, too, has faded away."

View original text (without footnotes)
Translated titles:
"Die Veilchen" = "The violets"
"Erinnerungen" = "Memories"
"Nach einem alten Lied" = "After an old song"
"Nach einem alten Liede" = "After an old song"
"Sag, wo sind die Veilchen hin" = "Tell me, where have the violets gone"
"Verblüht" = "Faded"
"Vergänglichkeit" = "Ephemerality"
1 Lang: "Those"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2012 by Sharon Krebs, (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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This text was added to the website: 2006-11-09
Line count: 36
Word count: 203