by Nikolaus Lenau (1802 - 1850)
Translation © by Walter A. Aue

Drei Zigeuner fand ich einmal
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG ENG FRE POR
Drei Zigeuner fand ich einmal
Liegen an einer Weide,
Als mein Fuhrwerk mit müder Qual
Schlich durch sandige Heide.

Hielt der eine für sich allein
In den Händen die Fiedel,
Spielt', umglüht vom Abendschein,
Sich ein [feuriges]1 Liedel.

Hielt der zweite die Pfeif' im Mund,
Blickte nach seinem Rauche,
Froh, als ob er vom Erdenrund
Nichts zum Glücke mehr brauche.

Und der dritte behaglich schlief,
Und sein Zymbal am Baum hing;
Über die Saiten der Windhauch lief,
Über sein Herz ein Traum ging.

An [den]2 Kleidern trugen die drei
Löcher und bunte Flicken;
Aber sie boten trotzig frei
Spott den Erdengeschicken.

Dreifach haben sie mir gezeigt,
Wenn das Leben uns nachtet,
Wie man's [verraucht, verschläft]3, vergeigt,
Und es dreifach verachtet.

Nach den Zigeunern [lang']4 [noch schaun
Mußt ich]5 im Weiterfahren,
Nach den Gesichtern dunkelbraun,
[Den]6 schwarzlockigen Haaren.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Gund, Liszt, Shoeck: "lustiges" (from another version of Lenau)
2 Gund, Schoeck: "die" (from another version of Lenau)
3 Gund, Liszt, Schoeck: "verschläft, verraucht"
4 Edelmann, Gund, Schoeck,: "lange"
5 Gund, Liszt, Schoeck: "noch/ Mußt ich schaun"
6 Gund, Liszt, Schoeck: "Nach den"

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 (Emily Ezust) , "The three Gypsies", copyright ©
  • ENG English (Walter A. Aue) , "The Three Gypsies", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English [singable] (Arthur Westbrook) , "The three gypsies"
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Les trois tsiganes", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • POR Portuguese (Português) (Margarida Moreno) , "Os três ciganos", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:38
Line count: 28
Word count: 137

The Three Gypsies
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Once I chanced upon gypsies three
resting in sunny weather,
as my jalopy carried me
wary through gravelly heather.

Just for himself one gypsy had
gotten hold of his fiddle,
played, surrounded by evening's red,
fiery songs for a diddle.

Had the other a pipe in his mouth,
looked at the spiraling matter -
happy, as if from the whole of this earth
nothing could suit him better.

And the third one in comfort slept,
his guitar in a tree bend;
over the strings the breezes crept,
over his heart a dream went.

On their clothing carried the three
holes with patches around them,
but they defied intrepidly
what in their destiny bound them.

Threefold the gypsies revealed that day,
how, when one's life is benighted,
to sing it, to smoke it, to dream it away -
and thrice to detest and deride it.




Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2008 by Walter A. Aue, (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.

    Walter A. Aue.  Contact: waue (AT) dal (DOT) ca

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Based on

 

Text added to the website: 2008-10-16 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:58
Line count: 24
Word count: 144