by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Als ich noch ein Knabe war
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE FRL ITA
Als ich noch ein Knabe war,
Sperrte man mich ein;
Und so saß ich manches Jahr
Über mir allein, 
Wie im Mutterleib.

Doch du warst mein Zeitvertreib,
Goldne Phantasie,
Und ich [ward]1 ein warmer Held,
Wie der Prinz Pipi,
Und durchzog die Welt.

Baute manch kristallen Schloß
Und zerstört es auch,
Warf mein blinkendes Geschoß
Drachen durch den Bauch,
Ja, ich war ein Mann!

Ritterlich befreit ich dann
Die Prinzessin Fisch;
Sie war gar zu obligeant,
Führte mich zu Tisch,
Und ich war galant.

Und ihr Kuß war [Himmelsbrod]2,
Glühend wie der Wein.
Ach! Ich liebte fast mich todt!
Rings mit Sonnenschein
War sie emailliert.

Ach wer hat sie mir entführt?
Hielt kein Zauberband
[Ihr verräthrisch]3 Fliehn?
Sagt, wo ist ihr Land?
Wo der Weg dahin?

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Krenek, Schröter (?): "war"
2 Krenek, Wolf: "Götterbrot"; Schröter spells it "Himmelsbrot"
3 Krenek, Schröter, Wolf: "Sie zurück vom schnellen"

Authorship

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) , "When I was still a boy", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Le nouvel Amadis", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRL Friulian (Ermes Culos) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Il nuovo Amadis", 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: 2014-06-16 10:01:29
Line count: 30
Word count: 126

When I was still a boy
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
When I was still a boy,
they locked me in;
and so I sat for many years
alone with myself,
as I was in my mother's womb.

But you were my diversion,
golden fantasy;
and I [became]1 an ardent hero,
like the Prince Pipi,
and I wandered the world.

I built many a crystal castle
and destroyed some as well;
I threw my glittering javelin
at dragons, through their bellies;
yes, I was a man!

Chivalrously I freed then
the Princess Fish;
she was all too obliging,
and led me to her table,
and I was gallant.

And her kiss was the food of gods,
glowing like the wine.
Ah! I loved her almost to death!
Surrounded with sunshine
she was like enamel.

Alas! who has abducted her?
Did not some magic ribbon
pull her back from her swift flight?
Tell me, where is her land?
Where is the path to it?

View original text (without footnotes)
1 for versions with "war", this becomes "was"

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive -- https://www.lieder.net/

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.


Based on

 

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:29
Line count: 30
Word count: 152