by Matthias Claudius (1740 - 1815)
Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Laßt mich! laßt mich! ich will klagen
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Laßt mich! laßt mich! ich will klagen,
Frölich seyn nicht mehr!
Aboudahab hat geschlagen
Aly und sein Heer.

So ein muntrer kühner Krieger
Wird nicht wieder seyn;
Ueber alles ward er Sieger,
Haut' es kurz und klein.

Er verschmähte Wein und Weiber,
Gieng nur Kriegesbahn,
Und war für die Zeitungsschreiber
Gar ein lieber Mann.

Aber, nun ist er gefallen.
Daß er's doch nicht wär'!
Ach, von allen Bey's, von allen
War kein Bey wie er.

Jedermann in Sirus saget:
»Schade, daß er fiel!«
Und in ganz Egypten klaget
Mensch und Crocodil.

Daher sieht im Geist, wie's scheinet,
Am Serail mit Graus
Seines Freundes Kopf, und weinet
Sich die Augen aus.
                    Da Capo.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with ASMUS omnia sua SECUM portans, oder Sämmtliche Werke des Wandsbecker Bothen, I. und II. Theil. Beym Verfasser, und in Commißion bey Fr. Perthes in Hamburg. [1774], pages 48-49.

First published in Der Deutsche, sonst Wandsbecker Bothe. Ao. 1773. No. 112. Mittwochs, den 14ten Julii.


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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Klaagzang om Ali Bey", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "Lament for Ali Bey", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Plainte sur Ali Bey", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Richard Morris , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 25
Word count: 112

Lament for Ali Bey
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Leave me! Leave me alone! I want to lament,
I don't want to be merry any more!
Abu al-Dhahab has struck down
Ali and his army.

Such a jolly and bold warrior
Will never be seen again.
He was victorious over everyone
And chopped them up into little pieces.

He denied himself wine and women.
He only took the course of war,
And for the newspaper writers
He was really a favourite man.

But now he has fallen.
If only it hadn't happened to him!
Oh, out of all the Beys, out of all of them
There was no Bey like him.

Everyone in Syria is saying,
"What a shame that he fell!"
And in the whole of Egypt there is lamenting
By humans and crocodiles.

Dhaher pictures to himself the effect
In the harem and the horror as they see
His friend's head, and he cries
His eyes out.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2016 by Malcolm Wren, (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: 2016-09-13
Line count: 24
Word count: 150