Translation © by Emily Ezust

Es war ein niedlich' Zeiselein
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
[Es]1 war ein niedlich' Zeiselein,
Das träumte nachts im Mondenschein:
Es säh am Himmel Stern bei Stern,
Davon wär jeder ein Hirsekern.
Und als es geflogen [himmelauf]2,
Da pickte das Zeislein die Sterne auf,
Piep - 
Wie war das im [Traume]3 so lieb!

Und als die Sonne beschien den Baum,
Erwachte das Zeislein von seinem Traum.
Es [wetzte]4 das [Schnäblein]5 her und hin
Und sprach verwundert in seinem Sinn:
"Nun hab ich gepickt die ganze Nacht
Und bin [doch so hungrig]6 aufgewacht!
Ping -
Das ist mir ein [närrisches]7 Ding!"

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Doebber: "Das"; further changes may exist not shown above.
2 Blech: "zum Himmel hinauf"
3 Blech: "Traum"
4 Blech: "wetzt"
5 Blech, Zemlinsky: "Schnäbelchen"
6 Blech: "so hungrig noch"
7 Blech: "närrisch"


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 (Emily Ezust) , "The Dream", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2016, (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: 90

The Dream
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
There was a sweet little greenfinch
that dreamed all night in the moonlight:
It saw in the sky star upon star,
and every one was a millet seed.
And when it flew up into the sky,
the greenfinch pecked at the stars.
Peep -
how lovely it was in the dream!

And when the sun warmed the tree,
the little greenfinch awoke from its dream.
It opened and closed its beak
and said with astonishment to itself:
"I've been pecking the whole night
and yet I've woken up so hungry!
Ping -
That seems such a stupid thing to me!"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive --

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

Based on


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 100