Translation © by Emily Ezust

Sag' an, o lieber Vogel mein
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG FRE
"Sag' an, o lieber Vogel mein,
Sag' an, wohin die Reise Dein?"
  Weiß nicht, wohin,
  Mich treibt der Sinn,
Drum muß der Pfad wohl richtig sein!

"Sag' an, o liebster Vogel mir,
Sag', was verspricht die Hoffnung Dir?"
  Ach, linde Luft
  Und süßen Duft
Und neuen Lenz verspricht sie mir!

"Du hast die schöne Ferne nie
Gesehen, und Du glaubst an sie?"
  Du frägst mich viel, 
  Und das ist Spiel,
Die Antwort aber macht mir Müh'!

Nun zog in gläubig-frommem Sinn
Der Vogel über's Meer dahin,
  Und linde Luft
  Und süßer Duft,
Sie wurden wirklich sein Gewinn!

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)

  • by Robert Kahn (1865 - 1951), "Sag an, o lieber Vogel mein", op. 17 (Fünf Gesänge für drei Frauenstimme) no. 4, published 1892 [ vocal trio for female voices or three-part women's chorus with piano ] [sung text not yet checked]
  • by Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856), "Sag an, o lieber Vogel mein", op. 27 (Lieder und Gesänge für Singstimme und Klavier (Heft 1)) no. 1 (1847), published 1849 [ voice and piano ], Leipzig, Whistling [sung text checked 1 time]

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by (Paul) Jules Barbier (1825 - 1901) ; composed by Marcial del Adalid.

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Zeg mij, o lieve vogel klein", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Tell me, oh my dear bird", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2011, (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: 20
Word count: 97

Tell me, oh my dear bird
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
  "Tell me, oh my dear bird,
 tell me where your journey will take you?"
 I don't know where,
 but my fancy guides me;
 therefore, the way must surely be right.
 "Tell me, oh my dear bird,
 tell me what Hope promises you?"
 Ah, mild air
 and sweet fragrance,
 and a new Spring is what she promises me.
 "You have never seen the distant lands,
 and yet you believe in them?"
 You ask me quite a lot,
 and it is but a game to you,
 but the answers make me weary.
 Now away in faith and pious spirit
 the bird crossed over the sea,
 and mild air
 and sweet fragrance
 were truly its just reward.


  • 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: 20
Word count: 115