by Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Mutter zum Bienelein
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
  Mutter zum Bienelein:
"Hüt dich vor Kerzenschein!"
Doch was die Mutter spricht,
Bienelein achtet nicht;

  Schwirret ums Licht herum,
Schwirret mit Sum-sum-sum,
Hört nicht die Mutter schrein:
"Bienelein! Bienelein!"

  Junges Blut, tolles Blut,
Treibt in die Flammenglut,
Treibt in die Flamm hinein, -
"Bienelein! Bienelein !"

  'S flackert nun lichterrot,
Flamme gab Flammentod; -
"Hüt dich vor Mägdelein,
Söhnelein! Söhnelein!"

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)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in English, a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Frederick C. Fairbanks.
  • Also set in English, a translation by A. Grein ; composed by Alfred de Kaiser.
  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by Maurice Dufresne (d. 1953) ; composed by Tibor Harsányi.

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (August Matthijs) , "Vermaning"
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 61

Mother to the little bee
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Mother to the little bee:
"Beware of candlelight!"
But what the mother says,
The little bee does not heed.

Whirrs about the light,
Whirrs with a buzz-buzz-buzz
Does not here the mother scream:
"Little bee! Little bee!"

Young blood, madcap blood,
Drives into the heat of the flame,
Drives into the flame, -
"Little bee! Little bee!"

It flickers brightly red now,
The flame delivered a fiery death; --
Watch yourself around maidens,
Dear son! Dear son!

About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"Käferlied" = "Beetle song"
"Die Lehre" = "The lesson"


  • 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: 2020-01-21
Line count: 16
Word count: 76