Attention! Some of this material is not in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission. It is also illegal to reprint copyright texts or translations without the name of the author or translator.
To inquire about permissions and rates, contact Emily Ezust at
If you wish to reprint translations, please make sure you include the names of the translators in your email. They are below each translation.
Note: You must use the copyright symbol © when you reprint copyright-protected material.
Wenn dein Mütterlein tritt zur Tür herein, Und den Kopf ich drehe, ihr entgegen sehe, Fällt auf ihr Gesicht erst der Blick mir nicht, Sondern auf die Stelle, näher nach der Schwelle, Dort, wo würde dein lieb Gesichten sein, Wenn du freudenhelle trätest mit herein, Wie sonst, mein Töchterlein. Wenn dein Mütterlein tritt zur Tür herein, Mit der Kerze Schimmer, ist es mir, als immer Kämst du mit herein, huschtest hinterdrein, Als wie sonst ins Zimmer! O du, des Vaters Zelle, Ach, zu schnell erloschner Freudenschein!
- by Friedrich Rückert (1788 - 1866), appears in Kindertodtenlieder, in Krankheit und Tod [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Gustav Mahler (1860 - 1911), "Wenn dein Mütterlein", 1902, from Kindertotenlieder, no. 3 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Barrington Somers Pheloung (b. 1954), "Wenn dein Mütterlein" [ soprano and harp ] [sung text not yet checked]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Quan la teva mare", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "When your mother steps into the doorway", copyright ©
- ENG English [singable] (David Paley) , "When your mother dear", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- ITA Italian (Italiano) (Amelia Maria Imbarrato) , "Quando la tua mamma", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- POL Polish (Polski) (Alicja Istigniejew) , "Kiedy twoja mama", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- POR Portuguese (Português) (Paulo Albuquerque de Noronha) , "Quando tua mãezinha", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- SPA Spanish (Español) (Elena María Accinelli) , "Cuando tu madre entra por la puerta", copyright © 2005, (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: 23
Word count: 86
When your mother dear Entered through the door And my head was turning There to see her coming, Falling not at first There upon her face But a little lower Nearer to the threshold Where one would find your Dearest face to be When, with joy so brightly, You would step inside As oft, my daughter dear. When your mother dear Entered through the door With her candle glowing, I still think as ever That you would also Hurry right behind Here into the parlour. But you, your father's cloister, Were too quickly, too soon Extinguished with his joy.
- Singable translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2012 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:
- a text in German (Deutsch) by Friedrich Rückert (1788 - 1866), appears in Kindertodtenlieder, in Krankheit und Tod
This text was added to the website: 2012-08-15
Line count: 23
Word count: 99