by Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856)
Translation © by Peter Palmer

Worte! Worte! keine Taten!
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Worte! Worte! keine Taten!
Niemals Fleisch, geliebte Puppe,
Immer Geist und keinen Braten,
Keine Knödel in der Suppe!

Doch vielleicht ist dir zuträglich
Nicht die wilde Lendenkraft,
Welche galoppieret täglich
Auf dem Roß der Leidenschaft.

Ja, ich fürchte fast, es riebe,
Zartes Kind, dich endlich auf
Jene wilde Jagd der Liebe,
Amors Steeple-chase-Wettlauf.

Viel gesünder, glaub ich schier,
Ist für dich ein kranker Mann
Als Liebhaber, der gleich mir
Kaum ein Glied bewegen kann.

Deshalb unsrem Herzensbund,
Liebste, widme deine Triebe;
Solches ist dir sehr gesund,
Eine Art Gesundheitsliebe.

About the headline (FAQ)


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):

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Otokar Fischer) , "Slova, slova!"
  • ENG English [singable] (Peter Palmer) , "Lotus 2", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-11-10
Line count: 20
Word count: 89

Lotus 2
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Phrases! phrases! empty boasting!
Never meat, my little lady,
Ample steam but nothing roasting,
Not one dumpling in the gravy!

Still, perhaps that gallivanting
Might not match your present needs,
Such unbridled heaving, panting,
Borne along on passion's steed.

One can almost read the worry,
Slender child, upon your face
From the fast and furious scurry,
Amor's ardent steeplechase.

How much wiser it would be
If you took a feeble soul,
Chose to love a man like me,
Who can scarcely move at all.

Dearest, curb your nat'ral urges,
Nurse our marriage with devotion:
See the benefits emerging,
Call it love as health promotion.

Note: this is a revised American version of the one published with the David Blake setting.


  • Singable 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


This text was added to the website: 2009-06-10
Line count: 20
Word count: 104