by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796)
Translation by Ferdinand Freiligrath (1810 - 1876)

O were my Love yon lilac fair
Language: Scottish (Scots) 
Available translation(s): SPA
O were my Love yon lilac fair,
  Wi' purple blossoms to the spring,
And I a bird to shelter there,
  When wearied on my little wing;
How I wad mourn when it was torn
  By autumn wild and winter rude!
But I wad sing on wanton wing
  When youthfu' May its bloom renew'd.
 
O gin my Love were yon red rose
  That grows upon the castle wa',
And I mysel a drap o' dew,
  Into her bonnie breast to fa';
[O there, beyond expression blest,
  I'd feast on beauty a' the night;
Seal'd on her silk-saft faulds to rest,
  Till fley'd awa' by Phoebus' light.]1

A. Beach sets stanza 2, 1

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Beach.

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by Henri-François-Louis-Auguste Potez (b. 1863) ; composed by André Gédalge.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Adolf Wilhelm Ernst von Winterfeld (1824 - 1888) , "O, wär' mein Lieb die Fliederblüth'" ; composed by Otto Bach, Ernst Paul Flügel.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by L. G. Silbergleit , "O wär' mein Lieb" ; composed by Jan Karol Gall, Eugène Jámbor, Rudolf Krzyzanowski.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Ferdinand Freiligrath (1810 - 1876) ; composed by Carl Banck, Frederick Brandeis, August Conradi, Wilhelm Heiser, Ludwig Hoffmann, Carl August Krebs, Arnold Krug, C. Adolph Oberdörffer, Hans Michael Schletterer, Václav Jan Křtitel Tomášek.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by (Johann) Philipp Kaufmann (1802 - 1846) , no title, appears in Gedichte von Robert Burns, first published 1839 [an adaptation] ; composed by Franz Bendel, Alban Maria Johannes Berg, Wilhelm Mayer.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Johann Bernhard André.

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

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Josef Václav Sládek) , "Kéž byla bys ten vonný bez"
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Elisa Rapado) , copyright © 2020, (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: 105

O, wär' mein Lieb' die rote Ros'
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the Scottish (Scots) 
Available translation(s): FRE
O, wär' mein Lieb' die rote Ros',
Die auf des Schlosses Mauer glüht!
O, wär' ich selbst der Tropfen Thau,
Den man im Kelch der Rose sieht!

An ihrer Brust die ganze Nacht
Läg' ich, und schwelgt' in trunkner Lust;
Bis Morgens, wo der Tag erwacht,
Läg' ich an ihrer süßen Brust.

O, wär' mein Lieb ein Holderstrauch,
Wie der, voll Blumen jeder Ast!
O, wär' ich selbst ein Vögelein!
Auf seinen Zweigen hielt' ich Rast.

Wie wollt' ich trauern, säh' ich ihn
Entblättern [des Novembers Wehn]1;
Wie singen, sähe [blüh'nd]2 und grün
Ich wieder ihn im Lenze stehn!

F. Brandeis sets stanzas 3-4, 1-2
V. Tomášek sets stanzas 1, 3-4

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von Ferdinand Freiligrath, Siebente (der Miniatur-Ausgabe zweite) Auflage, Stuttgart und Tübingen, J. G. Cotta'scher Verlag, 1844, page 438.

Note: Freiligrath has divided his translation into four stanzas, where Burns' original is usually published in two. He has also rearranged the stanzas, so Burns' stanza 1 corresponds to stanzas 3 and 4 of Freiligrath.

1 Brandeis: "von Herbst und Winters Weh'n"; Tomášek: "durch des Herbstes Wehn"
2 Tomášek: "schmuck"

Authorship

Based on

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) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2011-04-07
Line count: 16
Word count: 99