by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729 - 1781)
Translation © by Charlotte Morel

Freunde, Wasser machet stumm
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): FRE SPA
Freunde, Wasser machet stumm,
lernet dieses an den Fischen,
doch beim Weine kehrt sich's um
dieses lernt an unsern Tischen.

Was für Redner sind wir nicht,
wenn der Rheinwein aus uns spricht
Wir ermahnen, streiten, lehren,
keiner will den andern hören.

About the headline (FAQ)


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Charlotte Coulombeau) , title 1: "Éloquence", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Elena María Accinelli) , title 1: "La elocuencia", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Marieke T. de Heer

This text was added to the website: 2004-11-16
Line count: 8
Word count: 41

Language: French (Français)  after the German (Deutsch) 
Mes amis, l'eau rend bien taciturne,
Ce que vous apprendront les poissons.
Pourtant l'adage se retourne:
Voyez les débits de boisson.

Quels orateurs devenons-nous
Quand le vin blanc parle par nous
Nous conjurons, professons, disputons:
Jamais voisin n'écouterons.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to French (Français) copyright © 2006 by Charlotte Morel, (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: 2007-03-07
Line count: 8
Word count: 38