by Wilhelm Müller (1794 - 1827)
Translation © by David Paley

Der greise Kopf
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG ENG FIN FRE FRI HEB ITA KOR SPA
Der Reif [hatt']1 einen weißen Schein
Mir über's Haar gestreuet.
Da [meint']2 ich schon ein Greis zu sein,
Und hab' mich sehr gefreuet.

Doch bald ist er hinweggethaut,
Hab' wieder schwarze Haare,
Daß mir's vor meiner Jugend graut -
Wie weit noch bis zur Bahre!

Vom Abendroth zum Morgenlicht
Ward mancher Kopf zum Greise.
Wer glaubt's? Und meiner ward es nicht
Auf dieser ganzen Reise!

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte aus den hinterlassenen Papieren eines reisenden Waldhornisten. Herausgegeben von Wilhelm Müller. Zweites Bändchen. Deßau 1824. Bei Christian Georg Ackermann, page 91; and with Deutsche Blätter für Poesie, Litteratur, Kunst und Theater. Herausgegeben von Karl Schall und Karl von Holtei. Breslau 1823, bei Graß, Barth und Comp. No. XLI. 13. März 1823, page 161.

First published in Deutsche Blätter(see above) as no. 1 of the installment of Die Winterreise. Lieder von Wilhelm Müller.

1 Schubert (autograph and Alte Gesamtausgabe): "hat"
2 Schubert: "glaubt'"

Authorship

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) , "Cabells blancs", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Het grijze hoofd", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Arthur Rishi) , "The grey head", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English [singable] (David Paley) , "The grey head", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Harmaantunut pää", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "La tête du vieillard", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRI Frisian [singable] (Pieter Wiersma) , "It Grize Hier", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • HEB Hebrew (עברית) (Max Mader) , "ראש שיבה", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Amelia Maria Imbarrato) , "La testa bianca", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • KOR Korean (한국어/조선말) [singable] (곽명규 Myung-Kew Kwack) , "은빛 머리", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Saúl Botero Restrepo) , "La cabeza gris", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Ofer Sheinberg , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2018-05-15 11:01:00
Line count: 12
Word count: 65

The grey head
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
The frost has strewn a whitened sheen
That on my hair is showing.
I thought myself a grey old man
And have so much enjoyed it.

But, soon, when it had thawed away
Have seen how black my hair was.
If I be grey when youth is out,
How long until they bear me!

From evening red to morning light
Were many heads made hoary.
Such thoughts! And mine has stayed unchanged
Throughout my lengthy journey!

Authorship

  • Singable translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2011 by David Paley, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., please ask the copyright-holder(s) directly.

    David Paley.  Contact: davidpaley (AT) btinternet (DOT) com


    If the copyright-holder(s) are unreachable for three business days, please write to:


Based on

 

Text added to the website: 2011-10-28 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:40
Line count: 12
Word count: 76