by (Karl) Wilhelm Osterwald (1820 - 1887)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

Ach, wenn ich doch ein Immchen wär'
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Ach, wenn ich doch ein Immchen wär',
Frisch, flink und frei und klein und fein!
 An jedem süßem Blumenblatt
 Tränk' ich im Frühlingsduft mich satt.

Wie wollt' ich saugen Tag und Nacht
An all' der frischen [Blüthenpracht]1!
 Husch! ging's zu allen Blumen hin,
 Sie wissen schon, daß ich es bin.

Die ganze, ganze Frühlingslust
Sög' ich [so]2 ein in meine Brust,
 Und hätt' ich ihn so ganz in mir,
 Den Frühling, Liebchen, brächt' ich dir.

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View original text (without footnotes)
Confirmed with Gedichte von Wilhelm Osterwald, Dritte umgearbeitete und vermehrte Auflage, Leipzig, Verlag von F. G. C. Leuckart (Constantin Sander), 1873, p. 2

1 Franz: "Frühlingspracht"
2 Franz: "dann"


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 (Bertram Kottmann) , "Ah, if only I were a little bee", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 75

Ah, if only I were a little bee
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Ah, if only I were a little bee
fresh, brisk and free and small and delicate:
from each sweet blossom 
I would sip in fragrant Spring.

How would I absorb, from dawn to dusk,
Spring's refreshing splendour.
Quickly I would fly to all the flowers
and they well know that it's me.

And all the passion of Spring
I would breathe into [myself],
And once it was entirely part of me,
I would offer, my beloved, Spring to you.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2010 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT)

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Based on


This text was added to the website: 2010-10-26
Line count: 12
Word count: 79