by Emanuel von Geibel (1815 - 1884)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Und wenn die Primel schneeweiß blickt
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG FRE POR
Und wenn die Primel schneeweiß blickt
[am Bach]1 aus dem Wiesengrund,
[wenn]2 die Kirschblüt nickt 
und die Vöglein pfeifen im Wald allstund:
da flickt der Fischer das Netz [in Ruh],
denn der See liegt heiter im Sonnenglanz;
da sucht das Mädel die [Schuh]3
und schnürt das Mieder sich eng zum Tanz,
und denket still,
ob der Liebste nicht kommen will.

Es klingt die Fiedel, es brummt der Baß
der Dorfschulz sitzet im Schank beim Wein,
die Tänzer drehn sich ohne Unterlaß 
[An der Lind', an der Lind',]4 im Abendschein.
Und geht's nach Haus um [Mitter]nacht,
Glüh-Würmchen trägt das Laternchen vor;
da küßt [er]5 sein Dirnel sacht
und sagt ihr leis ein Wörtchen ins Ohr,
und sie denken beid':
o du selige [fröhliche] Maienzeit!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Schumann: "am Bach, am Bach"
2 Schumann: "und wenn am Baum"
3 Schumann: "rote Schuh"
4 omitted by Schumann
5 Schumann: "der Bube er"


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):

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Landelijk lied", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "Spring", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Printemps", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • POR Portuguese (Português) (Margarida Moreno) , "Canção campestre", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Auditorium du Louvre

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:29
Line count: 20
Word count: 123

Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
And when the primrose peeks, white as snow,
Out of the meadow beside the brook,
When the cherry blossom nods
And the birds whistle in the forest at all hours:
Then the fisher mends his net in peace,
For the lake rests serenely in the sunshine;
Then the maiden searches for her shoes
And laces her bodice tightly for the dance,
And wonders silently
If her beloved will not come.

The fiddle sounds, the bass booms,
The sheriff sits in the pub drinking wine,
The dancers twirl unceasingly
[By the lime tree, by the lime tree,]1 In the evening glow.
And when they're on their way home at midnight
The fireflies light them on their way with their lanterns;
Then he kisses his girl gently
And whispers a word in her ear,
And they both think [to themselves]:
Oh you blissful, happy Maytime!

View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Schumann


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2009 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


Text added to the website: 2009-05-02 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:13
Line count: 20
Word count: 143