by Matthias Claudius (1740 - 1815)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Schlaf, süßer Knabe, süß und mild!
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Schlaf, [süßer]1 Knabe, süß und mild!
  Du deines Vaters Ebenbild!
Das bist du; zwar dein Vater spricht,
  Du habest seine Nase nicht.

Nur eben [itzo]2 war er hier,
  Und sah dir in's Gesicht,
Und sprach: "Viel hat er zwar von mir,
  Doch meine Nase hat er nicht."

Mich dünkt es selbst, sie ist zu klein,
  Doch muß es seine Nase sein;
Denn wenn's nicht seine Nase wär',
  Wo hätt'st du denn die Nase her?

Schlaf, Knabe, was dein Vater spricht,
  Spricht er wohl [im]3 Scherz;
Hab' immer seine Nase nicht
  Und habe nur sein Herz!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Loewe: "holder"
2 often modernized to "jetzo"
3 Blech, Kraus: "nur im"


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 [singable] (Anonymous/Unidentified Artist)
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "The mother at the cradle", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Peter Donderwinkel

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 95

The mother at the cradle
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Sleep, [sweet]1 boy, sweetly and mildly,
  You, the very image of your father. 
That's what you are, although your father
  Says you do not have his nose.

He was only just here
  And looked into your face
And said:  "He has a lot of my characteristics,
  But he does not have my nose!"

Well, I think it is a little small myself,
  Yet it must be his nose,
For if it weren't his nose,
  Where on earth would you have gotten it?

Sleep, little boy, what you father says
  He's probably saying only in jest. 
Don't worry about having his nose,
  Just have his [good] heart!

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Loewe: "lovely"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2008 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.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2008-09-03
Line count: 16
Word count: 106