by Václav Hanka (1791 - 1861)
Translation Singable translation by Natalie Macfarren (1826 - 1916)

Kytice
Language: Czech (Čeština) 
Věje větřieček s kniežeckých lesóv,
běže zmilitka ku potoku,
nabiera vody v kovaná vědra.
Po vodě k děvě kytice plyje,
kytice vonná z viol a róží.
I je sě děva kyticu loviť,
spade, ach! spade v chladnú vodicu.

Kdabych věděla, kytice krásná!
kto tebe v kyprú zemicu sáze,
tomu bych dala prstének zlatý.

Kdabych věděla, kytice krásná,
kto tebe lýkem hebúčkým sváza:
tomu bych dala jehlicu z vlasóv.

Kdabych věděla, kytice krásná,
kto tě po chladnej vodici pusti:
tomu bych dala vienek svój z hlavy.

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Rukopis královédvorský. Nejprvnější ilustrované vydání, Praha, I. L. Kober, 1873, page 60. Note: from the Rukopis královédvorský, or the Dvůr Králové Manuscript, claimed by Hanka to be a 13th-century manuscript he had discovered but regarded by modern scholars as an elaborate forgery by him.


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

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

  • ENG English [singable] (Natalie Macfarren) , "The flowery message"


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-01-25
Line count: 16
Word count: 85

The flowery message
Language: English  after the Czech (Čeština) 
Tenderly bloweth a breeze from the woodland,
swift a maiden flies to seek the brook,
and in her pail draw its limpid water.
Lo, on its wave glides adown the streamlet
a fair bunch of roses and odorous violets.
The maid puts forth her white hand to seize it,
but ah, but ah, in the shallow tide she fell!

If I knew, o ye fair blooming flowers, 
who in so shifting a garden did plant ye,
my golden ring I would gladly give him;

if I knew, oh ye blooming flowers,
whose hand with azure ribbon hath tied ye,
ah, I would give him the silver arrow that fastens my ebon tresses!
If I knew, if I but knew, oh ye flowers,
who sent ye floating o'er the waters,
oh I would give him my myrtle garland,
I'd give to him, (nought else have I,) my myrtle garland!

From a Dvorak score.

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Researcher for this text: Harry Joelson

This text was added to the website: 2011-05-18
Line count: 17
Word count: 148