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

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"


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.


  • 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.

Based on


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