by Wilhelm Häring (1798 - 1871)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Walpurgisnacht
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG
Lieb Mutter, heut Nacht heulte Regen und Wind. 
-- Ist heute der erste Mai, liebes Kind! 

[Liebe]1 Mutter, es donnerte auf dem Brocken oben. 
-- [Liebes]1 Kind, es waren die Hexen droben.

Liebe Mutter, ich möcht' keine Hexen sehn.
-- Liebes Kind, es ist wohl schon oft geschehn.

Liebe Mutter, ob [wohl im Dorf]2 Hexen sind? 
-- [Sind]3 dir wohl näher, mein liebes Kind.

Ach Mutter, worauf fliegen die Hexen zum Berg? 
-- Auf Nebel, auf Rauch, auf loderndem Werg. 

Ach Mutter, was reiten die Hexen beim Spiel? 
-- Sie reiten, sie reiten den Besenstiel. 

Ach Mutter, was fegten im Dorfe die Besen! 
-- Es sind auch viel Hexen auf'm Berge gewesen.

Ach Mutter, was hat es im Schornstein gekracht. 
-- Es flog auch wohl Eine hinaus über Nacht.

Ach Mutter, dein Besen war [in der Nacht nicht zuhaus]4.
-- Lieb's Kind, so war er zum Brocken hinaus.

Ach Mutter, dein Bette war leer in der Nacht.
-- Deine Mutter hat oben auf dem Blocksberg gewacht.

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Balladen von W. Alexis, Berlin, Ferdinand Dümmler, 1836, pages 8-9.

1 Brahms: "Lieb"
2 Brahms: "im Dorf wohl"
3 Brahms: "Sie sind"
4 Brahms: "die Nacht nicht zu Haus" (first edition); and later, "die Nacht nicht im Haus"

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

  • by Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897), "Walpurgisnacht", op. 75 (Vier Balladen und Romanzen) no. 4 (1878), published 1878 [ vocal duet for 2 sopranos with piano ], Berlin, Simrock [sung text checked 1 time]

Set in a modified version by Johann Karl Gottfried Loewe.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Walpurgisnacht", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "Walpurgis Night", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2015-02-04
Line count: 20
Word count: 156

Walpurgis Night
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Mother dear, last night the rain and the wind howled.
-- Today is the first of May, dear child!

Mother dear, there was a thundering upon Mount Brocken.
-- Dear child, the witches were up there.

Mother dear, I do not want to see any witches.
-- Dear child, it has likely already happened quite often.

Mother dear, might there be witches in the village?
-- They might well be nearer to you than that, my dear child.

Ah mother, upon what do the witches fly to the mountain?
-- Upon fog, upon smoke, upon blazing tow.

Ah mother, what do the witches ride when they are at play?
-- They ride, they ride the broomstick.

Ah mother, how the brooms swept in the village!
-- Well, there were many witches upon the mountain.

Ah mother, what made such a noise in the chimney.
-- One [witch] must have flown out of here too overnight.

Ah mother, your broom was not at home in the night.
-- Dear child, then it must have been out at Mount Brocken.

Ah mother, your bed was empty in the night.
-- Your mother was awake on Mount Brocken.

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.
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Based on

 

This text was added to the website: 2020-06-17
Line count: 20
Word count: 185