by John Clare (1793 - 1864)
Translation © by Pauline Kroger

When once the sun sinks in the west
Language: English 
Available translation(s): DUT GER
When once the sun sinks in the west,
And dew-drops pearl the Evening's breast;
Almost as pale as moonbeams are,
Or its companionable star,
The Evening Primrose opes anew
Its delicate blossoms to the dew;
And hermit-like, shunning the light,
Wastes its fair bloom upon the Night;
Who, blindfold to its fond caresses,
Knows not the beauty he possesses.
Thus it blooms on while Night is by;
When Day looks out with open eye,
'Bashed at the gaze it cannot shun,
It faints, and withers, and is gone.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with The Rural Muse : Poems by John Clare, London, Whittaker, 1835, page 137.


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) (Pauline Kroger) , "De teunisbloem", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , "Nachtkerzen", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2018-08-27 14:25:11
Line count: 14
Word count: 88

De teunisbloem
Language: Dutch (Nederlands)  after the English 
Als eenmaal de zon weer ter kimme neigt,
en de avond een paarlen dauwketting krijgt;
Dan, schier zo bleek als maneschijn,
of begeleidend sterrenlicht kan zijn,
Toont de teunisbloem haar bloesem weer
geopend aan de dauw zo teer;
En schuw als een heremiet voor licht
Houdt ze haar bloem tot de nacht gericht;
Die als geblinddoekt voor haar tederheid
onwetend van haar schoonheid blijft;
Zo bloeit ze maar voort tijdens de nacht;
En als de dag weer kijkt met volle kracht
verbleekt ze, ze kan hem niet ongaan,
die blik, ze verwelkt en is vergaan.


  • Translation from English to Dutch (Nederlands) copyright © 2009 by Pauline Kroger, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Pauline Kroger.  Contact: Paulinekroger (AT) cs (DOT) com

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Based on


Text added to the website: 2009-11-16 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:27
Line count: 14
Word count: 95