by Paul Heyse (1830 - 1914)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Das Bienchen
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Wohin schweifst du, sag', o sage, 
Bienchen, zu so früher Stunde? 
Noch erglüht vom jungen Tage 
Nicht ein Gipfel in der Runde. 

Alle Blumen, schlafbefangen 
In den grünen Knospendecken, 
Lassen noch die Köpfchen hangen, 
Bis sie wird der Morgen wecken. 

Doch mit raschem Flügelschlage 
Schwebst du hin in ems'ger Mühe. 
Kleines Bienchen, sag', o sage, 
Wohin schweifst du schon so frühe? 

Suchst du Honig? Deine Schwingen 
Brauchst du nicht mehr zu ermüden. 
Will an einen Ort dich bringen, 
Wo du ernten kannst in Frieden. 

Ward von meinem Lieb dir Kunde, 
Nice mit den schönen Augen? 
Fliege hin zu ihrem Munde, 
Dort ist Süßigkeit zu saugen. 

Auf den Lippen roth und wonnig, 
Die noch kaum "ich liebe" stammeln, 
Findest du den reinsten Honig --
Bienchen, flieg', ihn einzusammeln!

Beneath the title: (Von Giovanni Meli in sicilianischer Mundart.)

Confirmed with Paul Heyse, Italienisches Liederbuch, Berlin: Verlag von Wilhelm Hertz (Bessersche Buchhandlung), 1860, pages 215-216.


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) , "The little bee", copyright © 2021, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2021-02-14
Line count: 24
Word count: 126

The little bee
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Whither are you roaming, tell, oh tell,
Little bee, at such an early hour?
The young day’s glow has not yet
Set alight a single mountain-top around here.

All the flower, caught in sleep
In their green bud covers,
Still let their little heads droop
Until the morning shall waken them.

But with a rapid beating of your wings
You are already hovering about in assiduous labour.
Little bee, tell, oh tell,
Whither are you roaming at such an early hour?

Are you seeking honey? You no longer
Need to tire your wings.
I shall bring you to a place
Where you may harvest in peace.

Have you heard tell of my beloved,
Nice, with the beautiful eyes?
Fly off to her lips,
There is sweetness to be had there.

Upon her lips, red and delightful,
[Her lips] that can as yet barely stammer "I love",
There you shall find the purest honey --
Little bee, fly to gather it!

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2021 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: 2021-02-14
Line count: 24
Word count: 159