by William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)
Translation © by Walter A. Aue

Crazy Jane talks with the Bishop
Language: English 
Available translation(s): GER GER
I met the Bishop on the road
And much said he and I.
"Those breasts are flat and fallen now,
Those veins must soon be dry;
Live in a heavenly mansion,
Not in some foul sty."

"Fair and foul are near of kin,
And fair needs foul," I cried.
"My friends are gone, but that's a truth
Nor grave nor bed denied,
Learned in bodily [lowliness]1
And in the heart's pride.

"A woman can be proud and stiff
When on love intent;
But Love has pitched his mansion in
The place of excrement;
For nothing can be sole or whole
That has not been rent."

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Grill: "loneliness"


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):

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Walter A. Aue) , "Die verrückte Jane spricht mit dem Bischof", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Walter A. Aue) , "De narrische Jane sogds dem Bischof eihne", Viennese dialect, copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2009-01-03
Line count: 18
Word count: 105

De narrische Jane sogds dem Bischof eihne
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Wirih den Bischof troffn hob
do haumma gredt gaunz frei:
"De Duttln hengan brettl-ehm,
Dei Soft, dea trikkat ei;
Du soitast in da Kiachn lehm
Und net im Sauschdoi sei!"

"Da Schdoi und d'Kiachn san fawaunt:
De Kiachn braucht den Schdoi",
Schrei I, "Siss woa, I hob kan Freind
Im Bett, söbst wauni zoi;
Fon Bett und Grob is d'oide Haut,
Fon Schdoids mei Heazal foi.

"A Weib kaun ah schdehn schdoids und schdeif
Waunds d'Liab do drinnan gneist;
Dochd Liab, di baut ia Heisl daun
Grohd duat, wohsd aussascheisst;
Den nigs kau gaunz und söba sei,
Wos ned dsafua dsahreisst."


  • Singable translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2010 by Walter A. Aue, (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.

    Walter A. Aue.  Contact: waue (AT) dal (DOT) ca

    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2010-03-26
Line count: 18
Word count: 101