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]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2015-11-02 11:26:06
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

 

Text added to the website: 2011-03-06 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:16
Line count: 16
Word count: 75