by Adelbert von Chamisso (1781 - 1838)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Unsre Quelle kommt im Schatten
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Unsre Quelle kommt im Schatten
Duft'ger Linden an das Licht,
Und wie dort die Vögel singen,
Nein, das weiß doch jeder nicht!

Und das Mädchen kam zur Quelle,
Einen Krug in jeder Hand,
Wollte schnell die Krüge füllen,
Als ein Jüngling vor ihr stand.

Mögen wohl geplaudert haben,
Kam das Mädchen spät nach Haus:
Gute Mutter, sollst nicht schelten,
Sandtest selbst ja mich hinaus.

Geht man leicht zur Quelle, trägt man
Doch zu Haus ein schwer Gewicht,
Und wie dort die Vögel singen, -
Mutter, nein, das weißt du nicht!

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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , title 1: "The water spring", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "La fontaine", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:23
Line count: 16
Word count: 90

The water spring
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Our water spring emerges to the light
In the shade of fragrant lime trees.
And no, not everyone knows
How beautifully the birds sing there.

And the maiden came to the spring
With a pitcher in either hand,
She was just about to fill the pitchers quickly,
When a lad suddenly stood before her.

They must have chatted together,
And the maiden was late getting home:
Good mother, you should not chide me,
For you yourself sent me out.

Though one walks lightly to the spring,
On the way home one carries a heavy weight,
And how the birds sing there, -
Mother, nay, that you do not know!


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2011 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: 2011-01-17 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:13
Line count: 16
Word count: 109