by Anonymous / Unidentified Author
Translation © by Sharon Krebs, Harald Krebs

Frühlingsbote, Schmetterling!
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
[Frühlingsbote,]1 Schmetterling!
Sanft wie Zephirs lindes Wehen[,]
Schmeichelnd wie der Liebe Flehen,
Flatterst du mit leichtem Sinn
Durch die Blumenwelt dahin.

[Frühlingsbote,]1 Schmetterling!
Mit des Schmeichelns süßem Kosen
Gaukelst du um junge Rosen,
Wendest dann mit Männersinn,
Dich zu andern [Blümchen]2 hin.

[Frühlingsbote,]1 Schmetterling!
Ist dein ganzes Leben Scherz?
Fesselt nichts dein kleines Herz? --
O so nenne nicht die Triebe
Deiner Flatterseele: "Liebe."

[Frühlingsbote,]1 Schmetterling!
Bunter Wechsel scheint dein Ziel[,]
Aber grausam ist [dies]3 Spiel.
Ach, ein Schmetterling, wie du,
Nahm mir tändelnd meine Ruh.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Abend-Zeitung, Band 4 (11. Februar 1818), Nro. 35, [no page number].

1 Lang: "Frühlingsbothe!"
2 Lang: "Blumen"
3 Lang: "das"


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) (Harald Krebs) , copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2006-11-10
Line count: 20
Word count: 85

Harbinger of spring, butterfly!
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
[Harbinger of spring, butterfly!]1
Soft as the gentle breath of Zephyr,
Flattering as the pleading of love,
You flutter with a light heart
Through the world of flowers.

[Harbinger of spring, butterfly!]1
With the sweet caress of flattery
You flit about the young roses,
Then you turn, in the manner of a man,
Toward other [little flowers.]2

[Harbinger of spring, butterfly!]1
If your whole life is a jest?
If nothing can bind your little heart? --
Oh, then do not call the urges
Of your fluttering soul: "love."

[Harbinger of spring, butterfly!]1
Colorful change seems to be your aim in life[,]
But this game is cruel.
Alas, a butterfly like you
Carelessly deprived me of all my peace!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Translation of titles:
"Fanny an einen Schmetterling" = "Fanny addressing a butterfly"
"Schmetterling" = "Butterfly"
1 Lang: "Harbinger of spring! Butterfly!"
2 Lang: "flowers!"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2006 by Sharon Krebs and Harald 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.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2006-11-10
Line count: 20
Word count: 117