by Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872 - 1906)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

The sparrow
Language: English 
A little bird, with plumage brown,
Beside my window flutters down,
A moment chirps its little strain,
Ten taps upon my window-pane,
And chirps again, and hops along,
To call my notice to its song;
But I work on, nor heed its lay,
Till, in neglect, it flies away.

So birds of peace and hope and love
Come fluttering earthward from above,
To settle on life's window-sills,
And ease our load of earthly ills;
But we, in traffic's rush and din
Too deep engaged to let them in,
With deadened heart and sense plod on,
Nor know our loss till they are gone.

Authorship

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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Bertram Kottmann , "Der Sperling", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission ; composed by Gary Bachlund.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2010-10-26
Line count: 16
Word count: 103

Der Sperling
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Ein Vöglein klein mit braun' Gefieder
lässt sich an meinem Fenster nieder;
es zwitschert seine kleine Weise,
zehn Mal klopft es ans Fenster leise
und tschilpt aufs Neu und hüpft entlang,
auf dass ich achte seinen Sang;
Doch ich fahr fort, missacht' sein Lied,
bis still und leis' davon es fliegt.

Solch Friedens-, Hoffnungs-, Liebesboten
flattern erdenwärts von oben
auf die Fensterbank des Lebens,
ird'sche Last von uns zu nehmen;
jedoch in unserm lauten Sein,
und zu gehetzt für ein "Herein",
trotten wir stumpf von hier nach dort, 
merken es erst, wenn sie sind fort.

G. Bachlund sets stanza 1

Authorship

Based on

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


Researcher for this text: Bertram Kottmann

This text was added to the website: 2013-04-10
Line count: 16
Word count: 95