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by Josef Franz von Ratschky (1757 - 1810)
Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Der Weiberfreund
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE ITA
Noch fand von Evens Töchterschaaren
Ich keine, die mir nicht gefiel:
Von [funfzehn bis zu funfzig]1 Jahren
Ist jede meiner Wünsche Ziel.

Durch Farb' und Form, durch Witz und Güte,
Durch alles fühl' ich mich entzückt:
Ein Ebenbild der Aphrodite
Ist jede, die mein Aug' erblickt.

Selbst die vermag mein Herz zu angeln,
Bei der man jeden Reiz vermißt:
Mag immerhin ihr alles mangeln,
Wenn's nur ein weiblich Wesen ist!

Bei blonden, runden Dindonetten
Preis' ich die Fülle der Natur:
An hagern schmächtigen Brünetten 
Reizt mich verliebter Sehnsucht Spur.

Bezaubernd ist die schlanke Schöne:
Doch auch der Krummen huldig' ich;
An Amors Pfeil erinnert jene,
Und die an seinen Bogen mich.

So flattr' ich rastlos, gleich den Bienen,
Durch Amors Lustgefilde hin,
Und selbst das Unkraut muß mir dienen,
Um süßen Honig draus zu ziehn.

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Taschenbuch zum geselligen Vergnügen herausgegeben von W.G. Becker für 1795. Leipzig, bei Voß und Compagnie, pages 201-202.

1 Schubert: "fünfzehn bis zu fünfzig"

Note: Ratschky published a revised version of this poem in his Neuere Gedichte of 1805, where he also changed the sequence of the stanzas (stanza 3 is now next-to-last); see below.


Based on:

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

Another version of this text exists in the database.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "L'amic de les dones", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "De vrouwengek", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "The friend of women", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "L'ami des femmes", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "L'amico delle donne", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

This text was added to the website: 2003-11-05
Line count: 24
Word count: 135

The friend of women
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
From amongst the hosts of daughters of Eve I have not yet found
A single one that did not appeal to me;
From fifteen to fifty years of age,
Each one is the goal of my desires.

Whether it be by colour or shape, by wit or kindness,
I feel that I am delighted by everything;
A very image of Aphrodite
Is each one that my eye catches sight of.

My heart can even be caught by those
Who are considered to be lacking in every charm;
They can be devoid of absolutely everything
So long as they have a womanly essence!

With blonde, round Dindonettes
I value nature's fullness:
Next to lean slight brunettes
I am charmed by the trace of beloved longing.

The slender beauty is alluring
But I also pay my respects to the crooked;
The one reminds me of Cupid's arrow,
And the other reminds me of his bow.

In this way I flutter about restlessly, like a bee
Going around Cupid's field of pleasure,
And even weeds have to serve me
In order to extract sweet honey from them.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2020 by Malcolm Wren, (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:

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2020-05-21
Line count: 24
Word count: 184