by Alfred Edward Housman (1859 - 1936)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

When I was one‑and‑twenty
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER HEB
When I was one-and-twenty
 I heard [a wise man]1 say,
"Give crowns and pounds and guineas
 But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
 But keep your fancy free."
But I was one-and-twenty,
 No use to talk to me.

When I was one-and-twenty
 I heard him say again,
"The heart out of the bosom
 Was never given in vain;
'Tis paid with sighs a plenty
 And sold for endless rue."
And I am two-and-twenty,
 And oh, 'tis true, 'tis true.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Steele: "an old man"

Authorship:

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):

  • FRE French (Français) (Patricia Dillard Eguchi) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , "Als ich war einundzwanzig", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • HEB Hebrew (עברית) (Max Mader) , "כאשר הייתי בן עשרים ואחת", copyright © 2014, (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: 16
Word count: 82

Als ich war einundzwanzig
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Als ich war einundzwanzig,
tat mir ein Weiser dar:
"Kannst all dein Geld verschenken,
allein dein Herz bewahr';
Rubine schenk' und Perlen,
die Lieb' indes halt frei."
Doch ich war einundzwanzig,
und mir war's einerlei.

Erneut hört' ich ihn sagen,
was Jugend nicht bedenkt:
"Nie ward in jungen Jahren
das Herz umsonst verschenkt:
's macht Seufzen zum Begleiter
und Reue, immerdar."
Nun bin ein Jahr ich weiter
und spür', 's ist wahr, 's ist wahr.

Authorship:

  • Singable translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2011 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) t-online.de

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Based on:

 

This text was added to the website: 2011-03-06
Line count: 16
Word count: 75