by Adelbert von Chamisso (1781 - 1838)
Translation © by Lawrence Snyder

's war mal 'ne Katzenkönigin, Ja, ja!
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
's war mal 'ne Katzenkönigin, Ja, ja!
die hegte edlen Katzensinn, Ja, ja!
verstunde gar wohl zu mausen,
liebt königlich zu schmausen, Ja, ja,
Katzennatur!
Schlafe, mein Mäuschen,
schlafe du nur!

Die hatt 'nen schneeweißen Leib, Ja, ja!
so schlank, so zart, die Hände so weich, Ja, ja!
die Augen wie Karfunkeln,
Sie leuchten im Dunkeln, Ja, ja!T
Katzennatur!
Schlafe, mein Mäuschen,
schlafe du nur!

Ein Edelmausjüngling lebte zur Zeit, Ja, ja!
der sah die Königin wohl von weit, Ja, ja!
'ne ehrliche Haut von Mäuschen,
der kroch aus seinem H&aumchl;uschen, Ja, ja!
[Mäusenatur]1!
Schlafe, mein Mäuschen,
schlafe du nur!

Der sprach: "In meinem Leben nicht, ja, ja!
hab' ich gesehn so süßes Gesicht, ja, ja!
die muß mich Mäuschen meinen,
sie tut so fromm erscheinen." Ja, ja!
[Mäusenatur]1!
Schlafe, mein Mäuschen,
schlafe du nur!

Der Maus: "Willst du mein Schätzchen sein? ja, ja!"
Die Katz: "Ich will dich sprechen allein. Ja, ja!"
"Heut' will ich bei dir schlafen"
"Heut' sollst du bei mir schlafen." Ja, ja!
[Mäusenatur]1!
Schlafe, mein Mäuschen,
schlafe du nur!

Der Maus, der fehlte nicht die Stund', ja, ja!
Die Katz', die lachte den Bauch sich rund, ja, ja!
"Dem Schatz, den ich erkoren,
dem zieh' ich's Fell über die Ohren." Ja, ja!
Katzennatur!
Schlafe, mein Mäuschen,
schlafe du nur!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Adelbert von Chamisso's Werke, Dritter Band: Gedichte, Leipzig: Weidmann'sche Buchhandlung, 1836. Pages 111 - 112.

1 Bonneval de la Trobe: "Katzennatur"

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 (Lawrence Snyder) , "The Cat Queen", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Nature de chat", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Lawrence Snyder , Melanie Trumbull

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 42
Word count: 214

The Cat Queen
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
There was once a Cat Queen
That had noble Cat senses
Grasped quite well mousing
Loved princely feasting
Cat nature!
Sleep, my little mouse,
Just sleep!

She had a snow-white coat
So slim, so tender, such soft paws
Eyes like rubies, 
hey shine in the dark
Cat nature!
Sleep, my little mouse,
Just sleep!

A noble Mouse youth lived at that time
Who saw the Queen from afar;
As honest a soul of a mouse
As ever crept from his Mouse house
Mouse nature!
Sleep, my little mouse,
Just sleep!

Who said, "In my whole life have I never
seen so sweet a visage!
This must my Mouselet be
She appears so pious!"
Mouse nature!
Sleep, my little mouse,
Just sleep!

The mouse: "Will you be my treasure?"
The cat: "I'll speak to you alone!"
Tonight I will sleep with you."
Tonight you will sleep with me."
Mouse nature!
Sleep, my little mouse,
Just sleep!

The mouse didn't miss the appointment,
The cat doubled up with laughter.
The Darling that I chose,
I pulled his skin over his ears."
Cat nature!
Sleep, my little mouse,
Just sleep!

Authorship:

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Lawrence Snyder, (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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Based on:

 

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 42
Word count: 187