by Robert Reinick (1805 - 1852)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Wellen blinkten durch die Nacht
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT DUT ENG FRE
Wellen blinkten durch die Nacht,
Blass der Mond am Himmel stand,
Mägdlein saß an Ufers Rand,
Hielt bei ihren Leinen Wacht,
Sang in leisen Melodein
In die weite Nacht hinein:

Bleiche, bleiche weisses Lein,
In des stillen Mondes Hut!
Bist du bleich, dann bist du gut,
Bist du bleich, dann bist du rein,
Bleiche, bleiche weisses Lein!
Bleich muss alles Ende sein.

Sonne gibt zu lichten Schein,
Läßt dem Herzen keine Rast;
Ist der Tag nur erst erblasst,
Wird das Herz auch ruhig sein.
Bleiche, bleiche weisses Lein!
Bleich muss alles Ende sein.

War ein töricht Mägdelein,
Rot und frisch mein Angesicht;
Rote Wangen taugen nicht,
Locken Unglück nur herein.
Bleiche, bleiche weisses Lein!
Bleich muss alles Ende sein.

Eile dich und bleiche fein!
Hab' ja treu gewartet dein;
Legt man mich ins Grab hinein,
Deck' in Frieden mein Gebein!
Bleiche, bleiche weisses Lein!
Bleich muss alles Ende sein!

R. Schumann sets stanzas 2-5

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Authorship

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

Set in a modified version by Julie Baroni-Cavalcabó, Joseph Dessauer, Ernest Fritsch, Joseph Rheinberger, Louis [Ludwig] Spohr.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2021, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Corien Sleeswijk) , "Nachtlied van een bleekster", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Nachtlied van de bleekster", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "Night Song of the Bleaching Girl", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Chant de nuit de la blanchisseuse", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2007-02-24
Line count: 30
Word count: 149

Night Song of the Bleaching Girl
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Waves glittered through the night,
Pale stood the moon in the sky,
The maiden sat on the bank [of the river]
Watching over her linens.
In quiet melodies, she sang
Out into the wide night:

Bleach, bleach, white linen,
In the care of the quiet moon!
If you are bleached, then you are good,
If you are bleached, then you are clean.
Bleach, bleach, white linen,
Pale all endings must be.

The sun's light is too bright,
It leaves my heart no rest;
When daylight has finally faded away,
My heart, too, shall be quietened.
Bleach, bleach, white linen,
Pale all endings must be.

I was a foolish maiden,
Rosy and fresh was my face;
Red cheeks are not a good thing,
They only bring misfortune upon you.
Bleach, bleach, white linen,
Pale all endings must be.

Hurry and bleach nicely!
For I waited faithfully for you;
When they lay me in my grave,
Cover my bones in peace!
Bleach, bleach, white linen,
Pale all endings must be.

Authorship

  • 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.
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Based on

 

This text was added to the website: 2009-09-21
Line count: 30
Word count: 168