by Otto Friedrich Gruppe (1804 - 1876)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Eine kleine Wassermücke
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Eine kleine Wassermücke 
Schwamm auf einem See daher,
Doch ein Stichling voller Tücke 
Kam ihr eben in die Quer.

Um die Mücke zu erschnappen
Riß er weit sein Mäulchen auf;
[Doch]1 ein Hecht, ihn zu ertappen, 
Stieß auf ihn in gradem Lauf. 

Und er hätt' ihn auch verschlungen,
Eh er noch die Mück' erwischt,
Hätte sich dahergeschwungen
Nicht ein Storch und ihn gefischt.

Aber als soeben nieder
Schoß [der]2 Storch auf unsern Hecht,
Zielt' ein Sonntagsjäger wieder 
Auf den Storch, und zielte recht.

Sicherlich hätt' er geschossen
Die langbein'ge Creatur,
Doch auch ihm geschah ein Possen,
Eh der Schuß dem Rohr entfuhr.

[Denn]3 wie er soeben zielet 
[Auf]4 des Hechtverfolgers Herz,
Springt [die Schwester]5 her und spielet 
Mit dem [Bruder]6 ihren Scherz.

Nämlich schnell mit ihren Händen 
[Hielt]7 sie ihm die Augen zu:
Alles mußte nun sich wenden: 
Was geschah das rathe du! 

Aber ich kam just gegangen,
Wie sie ihm die Augen schloß,
Und ich nahm sie schnell umfangen,
Deren Kuß ich süß genoß.

H. Sommer sets stanzas 1, 2, 4, 6, 7

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with O.F. Gruppe, Gedichte, Berlin: G. Reimer, 1835, pages 85-86.

1 Sommer: "als"
2 Sommer: "ein"
3 Sommer: "Und"
4 Sommer: "Nach"
5 Sommer: "ein Mädchen"
6 Sommer: "Jäger"
7 Sommer: "Hält"

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 (Sharon Krebs) , "Tit for Tat", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2020-03-19
Line count: 32
Word count: 165

Tit for Tat
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
A little water-mosquito
Swam along upon a lake,
But a stickleback, full of malice,
Simply got into [the mosquito’s] way.

To snap up the mosquito
It opened its little mouth wide,
[But]1 a pike, looking to catch the stickleback out,
Knocked straight into it.

And the pike would have devoured the stickleback, too,
Before it snapped up the mosquito,
If a stork had not come a-gliding
And nabbed the pike.

But when at that very moment 
[The]2 stork dived down upon our pike,
A Sunday hunter in turn took aim 
At the stork, and his aim was good.

Surely he would have shot
The long-legged creature,
But he, too, was the victim of a prank,
Before the shot left the barrel of the gun. 

[For]3 just as he took aim
At the heart of the pike-predator,
[His sister]4 came a-leaping and played
Her jest upon [her brother]5 the hunter.

Namely, with her hands she quickly
Held his eyes shut.
Everything now had to turn about:
You guess what happened!

By I perchance just came along
As she covered up his eyes,
And I quickly took her into an embrace,
She, whose kiss I sweetly enjoyed.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Sommer: "When"
2 Sommer: "A"
3 Sommer: "And"
4 Sommer: "His sister"
5 Sommer: "the hunter"

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2020 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.
    Contact: 

Based on

 

This text was added to the website: 2020-03-20
Line count: 32
Word count: 195