by Joseph Viktor von Scheffel (1826 - 1886)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Das ist im Leben häßlich eingerichtet
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG ITA
Das ist im Leben [häßlich]1 eingerichtet,
Daß bei den Rosen gleich die Dornen steh'n,
Und was das [arme Herz]2 auch sehnt und dichtet,
[Zum Schlusse]3 kommt das Voneinandergeh'n.
In deinen Augen hab' ich einst gelesen,
Es blitzte drin von Lieb' und Glück ein Schein:
  Behüet dich Gott! es wär' zu schön gewesen,
  Behüet dich Gott, es hat nicht sollen sein! -- 

Leid, Neid und Haß, auch ich hab' sie empfunden,
Ein sturmgeprüfter müder Wandersmann.
Ich träumt' von Frieden dann und stillen Stunden,
Da führte mich der Weg zu dir hinan.
In deinen Armen wollt' ich ganz genesen,
Zum Danke dir mein junges Leben weih'n:
  Behüet dich Gott!  Es wär' zu schön gewesen!
  Behüet dich Gott, es hat nicht sollen sein! --

[Die Wolken flieh'n]4, der Wind [saust]5 durch die Blätter,
Ein Regenschauer zieht durch Wald und Feld,
Zum Abschiednehmen just das rechte Wetter,
Grau wie der Himmel steht vor mir die Welt.
Doch wend' es sich zum Guten oder Bösen,
[Du schlanke Maid, in]6 Treuen denk' ich dein!
  Behüet dich Gott, es wär zu schön gewesen,
  Behüet dich Gott, es hat nicht sollen sein! --

F. Abt sets stanzas 1, 3
E. Meyer-Helmund sets stanzas 1, 3
H. Pfitzner sets stanzas 1, 3

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View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Josef Viktor von Scheffel, Der Trompeter von Säkkingen. Ein Sang vom Oberrhein, zweihundertfünfundvierzigste Auflage, Stuttgart: Verlag von Adolf Bonz & Comp., 1899, pages 220-221.

Note to the last two lines of each stanza: Most settings use the more common spelling of the word "Behüt."

1 Hamma: "schmerzlich"; further changes may exist not shown above.
2 Pfitzner: "Menschenhertz"
3 Meyer-Helmund: "Am Ende"
4 Abt, Meyer-Helmund, Pfitzner: "Wolken entfliehn"
5 Pfitzner: "rauscht"
6 Abt, Meyer-Helmund, Pfitzner: "Mein Leben lang in"

Authorship:

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) , "Song of Young Werner (It was not to be)", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English [singable] (Virginia Woods) , "Young Werner"
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Amelia Maria Imbarrato) , from Il trombettiere di Säckingen, copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 182

Song of Young Werner (It was not to be)
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
It is [poorly]1 arranged in life
That with the roses one immediately finds thorns.
And whatever a [poor]2 heart desires and dreams -
In the end comes parting.
I once read in your eyes;
A light of love and joy glinted in them.
  May God protect you!  It would have been too beautiful!
  May God protect you!  It was not to be!

Pain, envy and hatred, I too have felt them,
[I], a storm-tried, tired wanderer.
I dreamed of peace then and of quiet hours;
Then my pathway led me up to you.
In your arms I wanted to recover completely,
In thanks [I wanted] to dedicate my young life to you!
  May God protect you!  It would have been too beautiful!
  May God protect you!  It was not to be!

[The clouds scud]3, the wind [rushes loudly]4 through the leaves,
A shower of rain passes over forest and field:
Just the right sort of weather for taking farewell,
The world stands before me, as grey as the sky.
But no matter how my life turns out, whether good or bad,
[You slender maiden,]5 I shall think of you in faithfulness.
  May God protect you!  It would have been too beautiful!
  May God protect you!  It was not to be!

View original text (without footnotes)

Translated titles:
"Behüt' dich Gott" = "May God protect you"
"Das ist im Leben hässlich eingerichtet" = "It is poorly arranged in life"
"Das ist im Leben schmerzlich eingerichtet" = "It is painfully arranged in life"
"Es hat nicht sollen sein" = "It was not to be"
"Jung Werner: Das ist im Leben häßlich eingerichtet" = "Young Werner: It is poorly arranged in life"
"Jung Werners Klage" = "Young Werner's lament"
"Lied des jungen Werner (Es hat nicht sollen sein)" = "Song of young Werner (It was not to be)"
"Lied Jung Werners" = "Song of young Werner"
"Lied Werners aus dem Trompeter von Säckingen" = "Werner's song from the Trumpeter of Säckingen"

1 Hamma: "painfully"; further changes may exist not shown above.
2 Pfitzner: "human"
3 Abt, Meyer-Helmund, Pfitzner: "Clouds rush away"
4 Pfitzner: "soughs"
5 Abt, Meyer-Helmund, Pfitzner: "My whole life long"

Authorship:

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2006 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: 2006-11-15
Line count: 24
Word count: 210