by Eduard Mörike (1804 - 1875)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Hört ihn und seht sein dürftig...
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Hört ihn und seht sein dürftig Instrument!
Die alte, klepperdürre Mähre,
An der ihr jede Rippe zählen könnt,
Verwandelt sich im Griffe dieses Knaben
Zu einem Pferd von wilder, edler Art,
Das in Arabiens Glut geboren ward!
Es will nicht Zeug, noch Zügel haben,
Es bäumt den Leib, zeigt wiehernd seine Zähne,
Dann schüttelt sich die weiße Mähne,
Wie Schaum des Meers zum Himmel spritzt,
Bis ihm, besiegt von dem gelaßnen Reiter,
Im Aug die bittre Träne blitzt -
O horch! nun tanzt es sanft auf goldner Töne Leiter!

About the headline (FAQ)


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 (Sharon Krebs) , "On a pianist", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2005-07-04 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:13
Line count: 13
Word count: 89

On a pianist
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Hear him and see his wretched instrument!
The old, emaciated mare,
Whose every rib you can count,
Under the hands of this boy transforms itself
Into a horse of wild, noble lineage
That was born in Arabia's searing heat!
It eschews bridle or reins,
It rears up [and], neighing, bares its teeth,
Then it shakes its white mane
Like the foam of the sea that sprays up toward the sky,
Until, conquered by the unruffled rider,
A bitter tear shines in his eye -
Oh listen! now it is dancing softly on the golden scale!


  • 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


Text added to the website: 2010-06-20 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:48
Line count: 13
Word count: 95