by Joseph Viktor von Scheffel (1826 - 1886)
Translation © by Gary Bachlund (b. 1947)

Eine traurige Geschichte
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Ein Hering liebt' eine Auster
Im kühlen Meeresgrund;
Es war sein Dichten und Trachten
Ein Kuß von ihrem Mund.

Die Auster, die war spöde,
Sie blieb in ihrem Haus;
Ob der Hering sang und seufzte,
Sie schaute nicht heraus.

Nur eines Tags erschloß sie
Ihr duftig Schalenpaar;
Sie wollt' im Meeresspiegel
Beschauen ihr Antlitz klar.

Schnell kam der Hering geschwommen,
Streckt seinen Kopf herein
Und dacht' an einem Kusse
In Ehren sich zu freun!

O Harung, armer Harung,
Wie schwer bist du blamiert!
-- Sie schloß in Wut die Schalen,
Da war er guillotiniert.

Jetzt schwamm sein toter Leichnam
Wehmütig im grünen Meer
Und dacht': "In meinem Leben
Lieb' ich keine Auster mehr!"

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 (Gary Bachlund) , "A tragic tale", copyright © 2001, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2007-05-13
Line count: 24
Word count: 112

A tragic tale
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
A herring loved an oyster
on the cool ocean floor;
all his thoughts and endeavors
were to steal a kiss from her mouth.

The oyster, who was coy,
stayed in her house;
when the herring sang and sighed,
she didn'd bother looking out.

Then one day she opened
her gossamer shells;
in the sea's reflection she wanted 
to see her own face clearly.

Swiftly came the herring swimming,
and stuck his head inside,
and thought to take a kiss
in homage to his joy.
 
O herring, poor herring,
how much you are to blame!
She shut her shell in rage,
and he was guillotined.
 
Now swims his dead corpse
melancholy in the green sea
and thinks: "In my life,
I shan't again love an oyster.

Authorship

Based on

 
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2009-03-11
Line count: 24
Word count: 125