by Karl Friedrich Henckell (1864 - 1929)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

O süßer Mai!
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
O süßer Mai, o habe du Erbarmen,
o süßer Mai, dich fleh' ich glühend an:
an deiner Brust seh' ich die Flur erwarmen,
und alles schwillt, was lebt in deinem Bann;
der du so mild und huldvoll ohne Ende,
o lieber Mai, gewähre mir die Spende!

Der düstre Pilger, der in diesen Gau'n
entrann dem Eishauch winterlicher Zeit,
erkor ein Mädchen, mild wie du zu schauen,
lenzfrisch gleich dir in keuscher Herrlichkeit.
Daß wir uns lieben und in Lieb' umarmen,
Erbarmen, Mai, Holdseligster, Erbarmen!


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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Oh dolç mes de maig!", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "O zoete mei !", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "O sweet May!", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Ô doux mois de Mai", copyright © 2013, (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: 12
Word count: 84

O sweet May!
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
 O sweet May, have mercy;
 O sweet May, I entreat you ardently:
 at your bosom I see the meadow grow warm,
 and everything that lives in your realm is growing;
 you, so endlessly tranquil and benevolent,
 o dear May, grant me this favour!
 The drab pilgrim, who in these regions
 escaped the icy breath of wintry times,
 chose a maiden, as mild as you look,
 spring-fresh like you in chaste magnificence.
 That we might love each other and embrace in love -
 grant it, May, the most lovely and blessed, have mercy!


  • 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: 12
Word count: 93