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

Weiß wie Lilien, reine Kerzen
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Weiß wie Lilien, reine Kerzen,
Sternen gleich, bescheidner Beugung,
Leuchtet aus dem Mittelherzen
Rot gesäumt die Glut der Neigung. 

So frühzeitige Narzissen
Blühen reihenweis im Garten.
Mögen wohl die Guten wissen,
Wen sie so spaliert erwarten.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Poetische Werke, Band 2, Berlin, 1960, pages 104-105.


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) , "White as lilies, pure candles", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Jeroen Scholten

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 8
Word count: 36

White as lilies, pure candles
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
White as lilies, pure candles,
like stars, bowing unobtrusively,
from the centers of their hearts,
red-seamed, radiates the glow of affinity.

Thus the premature narcissi
bloom in rows in the garden.
One may well fancy that these good flowers know
for whom they wait, so neatly arrayed.


  • 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 --

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

Based on


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 8
Word count: 47