by Gottfried August Bürger (1747 - 1794)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG FRE
Wüßt' ich, wüßt' ich, daß du mich
Lieb und wert ein bißchen hieltest,
Und von dem, was ich für dich,
Nur ein Hundertteilchen fühltest;

Daß dein [Dank hübsch]1 meinem Gruß'
Halben Wegs entgegen käme,
Und dein Mund den Wechselkuß
Gerne gäb' und wiedernähme:

Dann, o Himmel, außer sich,
Würde ganz mein Herz zerlodern!
Leib und Leben könnt' ich dich
Nicht vergebens lassen fodern! --

Gegengunst erhöhet Gunst,
Liebe nähret Gegenliebe,
Und entflammt zu Feuersbrunst,
Was ein Aschenfünkchen bliebe.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Agthe, Haydn: "Danken"
See also the other Gegenliebe.


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):

  • ENG English [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "Love given, love returned", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Amour donné", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , title 1: "Wederliefde", copyright © 2014, (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: 77

Love given, love returned
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
If I knew that you 
showed me signs of your affection,
and of what I feel for you,
you felt but a tiny fraction;

that your greeting in return
met my greeting halfway even
and your lips did likewise yearn
to return my kisses given,

then, o heavens, without thought
would my heart be brightly flaming!
Life and limb be not for nought
at disposal of your claiming!

Favour shown is favour found,
given love will be returning
and inflames a fire unbound
where just cinders would be burning.


  • Singable translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2007 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT)

    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2007-11-28
Line count: 16
Word count: 89