by Eduard Mörike (1804 - 1875)
Translation © by Gary Bachlund (b. 1947)

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG ENG FRE ITA
Kleine Gäste, kleines Haus.
Liebe Mäusin oder Maus,
[Stell]1 dich nur kecklich ein
[Heut']2 nacht bei Mondenschein!
Mach aber die Tür fein hinter dir zu,
Hörst du?
Dabei hüte dein Schwänzchen!
Nach Tische singen wir,
Nach Tische springen wir
Und machen ein Tänzchen:
Witt witt!
Meine alte Katze tanzt wahrscheinlich mit.

View original text (without footnotes)
The poem has this at the head: "(Das Kind geht dreimal um die Falle und spricht:)"
1 Wolf: "Stelle"
2 Wolf: "Heute"


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):

  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "A little mousetrap epigram", copyright ©
  • ENG English (Gary Bachlund) , rhymed paraphrase, copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Petit épigramme de la souricière", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Piccolo motto della trappola per topi", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 51

Little guests in your mouse‑hole house
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Little guests in your mouse-hole house.
Lovely Miss or Mister Mouse,
Prepare yourself, bold and bright,
This evening in the pale moonlight!
Be very sure to lock your door!
Got that? And then, do wait for more!
You'll preserve your tail, for sure!
After dining, raucous singing starts --
Oh, after dinner we'll take our parts
And have some lively dancing:
Sniff! Smell!
My old cats might dance too near to where you dwell!

About the headline (FAQ)


Based on

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2010-02-02
Line count: 12
Word count: 73