by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
Translation © by Ferdinando Albeggiani

Es war eine Ratt' im Kellernest
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG IRI ITA
Es war eine Ratt' im Kellernest,
Lebte nur von Fett und Butter,
[Hatte]1 sich ein Ränzlein angemäst't,
Als wie der Doctor Luther.
Die Köchin hatt' ihr Gift gestellt;
Da ward's so eng' ihr in der Welt,
Als [hätte]2 sie Lieb' im Leibe.

Sie fuhr herum, sie fuhr heraus
Und soff aus allen Pfützen,
Zernagt', zerkratzt' das ganze Haus,
[Wollt']3 nichts ihr Wüten nützen;
Sie tät' gar manchen Ängstesprung,
Bald [hatte]1 das arme Tier genung
Als hätt' [es]4 Lieb' im Leibe.

Sie kam [für]5 Angst am hellen Tag
Der Küche zugelaufen,
Fiel an den Herd und zuckt' und lag,
Und tät erbärmlich schnaufen.
Da lachte die [Vergifterinn]6 noch:
Ha! sie pfeift auf dem letzten Loch,
Als [hätte]2 sie Lieb' im Leibe.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Busoni, Kreutzer, Radziwill, Wagner: "Hatt' "
2 Busoni, Kreutzer, Radziwill, Wagner: "hätt' "
3 Radziwill: "Wollte"
4 Busoni, Kreutzer, Wagner: "sie"
5 Busoni, Kreutzer, Radziwill, Wagner: "vor"
6 Busoni, Kreutzer, Wagner: "Vergift'rin"

Authorship

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 (Laura Prichard) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Gérard Labrunie) , no title, appears in Le Faust de Goethe [an adaptation]
  • IRI Irish (Gaelic) [singable] (Gabriel Rosenstock) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Cantina di Auerbach a Lipsia", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-12-17 16:57:58
Line count: 21
Word count: 120

Cantina di Auerbach a Lipsia
Language: Italian (Italiano)  after the German (Deutsch) 
In una cantina aveva il nido un bel topone,
e lardo e burro amava pappare,
al punto che gli era cresciuto un bel pancione,
che a Lutero lo faceva somigliare.
La cuoca gli mise un'esca avvelenata
e allora lui si sentì soffocare
come se fosse preso dalle pene d'amore.

Si mise a correre in ogni direzione
ad ogni pozza bevve per la sete ardente,
grattò e rosicchiò senza interruzione
un po' dovunque, ma non ottenne niente;
Si mise a saltare intorno per l'angoscia
ma poi non ne poté più, povera bestia,
come se fosse preso dalle pene d'amore.
 
E per l'angoscia, pure in pieno giorno
si precipitò dentro la cucina,
e cadde infine proprio vicino al forno
torcendosi e rantolando da far pena.
Ma per la cuoca fu un bel divertimento
vederlo spirare con un estremo lamento, 
come se fosse preso dalle pene d'amore.

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to Italian (Italiano) copyright © 2012 by Ferdinando Albeggiani, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
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Text added to the website: 2012-01-12 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:45
Line count: 21
Word count: 144