by Paul Heyse (1830 - 1914)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Auf die Nacht in den Spinnstuben
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG FRE
Auf die Nacht in den Spinnstuben
Da singen die Mädchen,
Da lachen die Dorfbuben,
Wie flink [gehn die]1 Rädchen!
Spinnt jedes [am]2 Brautschatz,
Daß der Liebste sich freut.
Nicht lange, so gibt es
[Ein]3 Hochzeitsgeläut.
Kein Mensch, der mir gut ist,
Will nach mir fragen.
Wie bang mir zu Muth ist,
Wem soll ich's klagen?
Die Thränen rinnen
Mir übers Gesicht --
Wofür [ich soll]4 spinnen,
Ich weiß es nicht!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gesammelte Werke von Paul Heyse. Erster Band. Gedichte, Berlin, Verlag von Wilhelm Hertz, 1872, pages 9-10.

1 Zemlinsky: "geht das"
2 Zemlinsky: "ein"
3 Omitted by Zemlinsky.
4 Brahms: "soll ich"


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

Set in a modified version by Robert Emmerich, Eugen Hildach, Carl, Graf Nostitz, Franz Preitz, Robert Schumann.

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Meisjeslied", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "At night in the spinning rooms", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Chant de jeune fille", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 69

At night in the spinning rooms
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
At night in the spinning rooms,
there sing the maidens,
there laugh the village boys;
how quickly do the little wheels fly!

Every girl is spinning something for her dowry,
so that her lover will be glad.
It won't be long before there
are wedding bells pealing.

No one who is kind to me
asks after me.
How anxious my spirits are;
to whom can I lament my sorrows?

The tears run
down my face:
why should I spin?
I don't know!


  • 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: 16
Word count: 82