by Eduard Mörike (1804 - 1875)
Translation © by Peter Palmer

Lose Ware
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
"Tinte! Tinte, wer braucht? Schön schwarze Tinte verkauf ich!"
Rief ein Büblein gar hell Straßen hinauf und hinab.
Lachend traf sein feuriger Blick mich oben im Fenster,
Eh ich michs irgend versah, huscht er ins Zimmer herein.
Knabe, dich rief niemand! - "Herr, meine Ware versucht nur!"
Und sein Fäßchen behend schwang er vom Rücken herum.
Da verschob sich das halbzerissene Jäckchen ein wenig
An der Schulter und hell schimmert ein Flügel hervor.
Ei, laß sehen, mein Sohn, du führst auch Federn im Handel?
Amor, verkleideter Schelm! soll ich dich rupfen sogleich?
Und er lächelt, entlarvt, und legt auf die Lippen den Finger:
"Stille! sie sind nicht verzollt - stört die Geschäfte mir nicht!
Gebt das Gefäß, ich füll es umsonst, und bleiben wir Freunde!"
Dies gesagt und getan, schlüpft er zur Türe hinaus. -
Angeführt hat er mich doch: denn will ich was Nützliches schreiben,
Gleich wird ein Liebesbrief, gleich ein Erotikon draus.


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Peter Palmer) , title 1: "Undeclared goods", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2005-07-17 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:13
Line count: 16
Word count: 154

Undeclared goods
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
"Ink for sale! who wants ink? Black de luxe ink, come and buy it!"
       Called a cheery small boy as he sped through the alleyways.
 Next, a sharp pair of eyes alighted on me at my window;
       And like a jack-in-the box he bounded into the room.
"Laddie, were you invited?" -- "Sir, just try this sample!"
       Nimbly the youngster swung his canister round from his back.
Now the rents in his jacket parted a little to show me
       Half of the shoulder-blade, where a wing brightly shimmered.
"Good gracious, my lad, so you also have quill-pens for sale.
       Cupid, villain in hiding!  what if I plucked you this minute?"
Thus discovered, he smiled and raised a finger in warning:
       "Ssh! it's taxable goods -- so don't you go spoiling my business!
Pass your ink-stand, there's no charge today, and then we stay friends!"
       Having duly obliged, he slipped through the door and was gone. --
Fooled me he did, though, for now all my day-to-day jottings
       Promptly turn into love-letters, a full-scale erotikon.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2009 by Peter Palmer, (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


Text added to the website: 2009-03-24 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:10
Line count: 16
Word count: 171