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by Johann Gabriel Seidl (1804 - 1875)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Die Mutter hat mich jüngst gescholten
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Die Mutter hat mich jüngst gescholten,
Und vor der Liebe streng gewarnt:
"Noch [jede]1", sprach sie, "hat's entgolten:
Verloren ist, wen sie umgarnt!" -
Drum ist es besser, wie ich meine,
Wenn kein's von uns davon mehr spricht!
Ich bin zwar immer noch die Deine:
Doch lieben - Hans! kann ich dich nicht!

Vor Allem, Hans, vergiß mir nimmer,
Daß du nur mich zu lieben hast;
Mein Lächeln sei dir Lust nur immer,
Und jeder Andern Lächeln - Last.
Ja, um der Mutter nachzugeben,
Will ich mich, treu der [Doppelpflicht]2,
Dir zu gefallen stets bestreben:
Doch lieben, Hans - kann ich dich nicht!

Bei jedem Feste, das wir haben,
Soll's meine größte Wonne sein,
Flicht deine Hand des [Frühlings]3 Gaben
Zum Schmucke mir in's Mieder ein.
Beginnt der Tanz - dann ist - wie billig -
Ein Tanz mit Gretchen deine Pflicht;
Selbst eifersüchtig werden will ich:
Doch [lieben, Hans - kann ich dich]4 nicht!

Und sinkt der Abend kühl hernieder,
Und ruh'n wir dann, recht mild bewegt,
Halt' immer mir die Hand an's Mieder,
Und fühle, wie mein [Herzchen]5 schlägt.
Und willst du mich durch Küsse lehren,
Was stumm dein Auge zu mir spricht,
Selbst das will ich dir nicht verwehren:
Doch lieben, Hans - kann ich dich nicht!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Das Veilchen. Ein Taschenbuch für Freunde einer gemüthlichen und erheiternden Lectüre. Achtzehnter Jahrgang. 1835. Wien, bey Heinrich Buchholz, k.k. Hof- und bürgl. Buchbinder, pages 43-44.

Note: Schubert received Seidl's poem in handwritten form. Seidl issued it later in a revised form in the almanac mentioned above, but did not include it in his poetry editions.

1 Seidl (1835 publication): "Jeder"
2 Seidl (1835 publication): "Kindespflicht"
3 Seidl (1835 publication): "Lenzes"
4 Seidl (1835 publication): "Hans - dich lieben kann ich"
5 Seidl (1835 publication): "Herz mir"


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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Het onderscheid", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "The difference", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "La différence", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Richard Morris , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 32
Word count: 210

The difference
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
My mother recently scolded me
And warned me sternly about love;
"It has," she said, "demanded recompense from every girl;
Lost is whomever love ensnares."
Therefore it is better, I think,
If neither of us speaks of it again;
I am still forever yours -
But love you, Hans, I cannot!

Before all else, Hans, never forget,
That you are to love only me.
My smiles must always be your delight,
And the smiles of every other girl a burden!
Yes, in order to obey my mother,
Faithful to the double duty, I will
Constantly strive to please you,
But love you, Hans, I cannot!

At every one of our festivals,
It shall be my greatest pleasure
If your hand weaves the gifts of spring [flowers]
As an adornment into my bodice.
When the dance begins, then, as appropriate,
A dance with Gretchen is your duty.
Even jealous shall I become,
But love you, Hans, I cannot!

And when the evening sinks in coolness
And we rest then quite mildly moved,
You must always place your hand upon my bodice
And feel how my little heart is pounding!
And if you wish to teach me through kisses
What your eye speaks mutely to me,
Even that I will not prevent you from doing,
But love you, Hans, I cannot!


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2010 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: 2010-05-31
Line count: 32
Word count: 219