Translation © by Emily Ezust

Nachtigallen schwingen
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG FRE SPA
   Nachtigallen schwingen
   Lustig ihr Gefieder;
   Nachtigallen singen
   Ihre alten Lieder.
   Und die Blumen alle,
   Sie erwachen wieder
   Bei dem Klang und Schalle
   Aller dieser Lieder.

Und meine Sehnsucht wird zur Nachtigall
Und fliegt in die blühende Welt hinein,
Und fragt bei den Blumen überall:
Wo mag doch mein, mein Blümchen sein?

    Und die Nachtigallen
    Schwingen ihren Reigen
    Unter Laubeshallen
    Zwischen Blütenzweigen,
    [Vor]1 den Blumen allen --
    Aber ich muß schweigen.
    Unter ihnen steh' ich
    Traurig sinnend still;
    Eine [Knospe]2 seh' ich,
    Die nicht blühen will.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Buch der Liebe von Hoffmann von Fallersleben, Breslau, bei Georg Philipp Aderholz, 1836, pages 45-46.

1 Brahms: "von"
2 Brahms: "Blume"


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

  • by Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897), "Nachtigallen schwingen", op. 6 (Sechs Gesänge für Sopran oder Tenor mit Pianoforte) no. 6 (1853), published 1854 [ soprano or tenor and piano ], Leipzig, Senff [sung text checked 1 time]
  • by Gustav Kulenkampff (1849 - 1921), "Nachtigallen schwingen lustig ihr Gefieder", op. 9 (Fünf Duette für 2 Singstimme mit Pianoforte) no. 5, published 1889 [ vocal duet with piano ], Bremen, Meinhardt [sung text not yet checked]

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Nachtegalen spelen", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Nightingales beat", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Les rossignols agitent", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Alfonso Sebastián) , copyright © 2021, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 22
Word count: 85

Nightingales beat
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Nightingales beat
Merrily their wings,
Nightingales sing
Their old songs.
And all the flowers,
They awaken again
To the clangor and sound
Of all these songs.

And my yearning becomes a nightingale
And flies off in the blooming world,
And asks the flowers everywhere,
Where my little flower is?

And the nightingales
Dance their circle-dance
In the halls of the bowers
Between the blossoming branches;
Among all the flowers,
however, I must be silent.
Among them I remain
Silent with my mournful thoughts:
One flower do I see,
That will not bloom.


  • 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: 22
Word count: 92