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.
When once the sun sinks in the west, And dew-drops pearl the Evening's breast; Almost as pale as moonbeams are, Or its companionable star, The Evening Primrose opes anew Its delicate blossoms to the dew; And hermit-like, shunning the light, Wastes its fair bloom upon the Night; Who, blindfold to its fond caresses, Knows not the beauty he possesses. Thus it blooms on while Night is by; When Day looks out with open eye, 'Bashed at the gaze it cannot shun, It faints, and withers, and is gone.
About the headline (FAQ)
Confirmed with The Rural Muse : Poems by John Clare, London, Whittaker, 1835, page 137.
- by John Clare (1793 - 1864), "Evening Primrose", appears in The Rural Muse, in Sonnets, no. 37, first published 1835 [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 (Edward) Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976), "The evening primrose", 1950, published 1951 [SATB chorus a cappella], from Five Flower Songs, no. 4. [ sung text checked 1 time]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Pauline Kroger) , "De teunisbloem", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , "Nachtkerzen", copyright © 2013, (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: 14
Word count: 88
Sobald die Sonn' im West versinkt, und Tau auf Abendfluren blinkt, bleich wie das Mondlicht aus der Fern oder ein beigesellter Stern tun sich aufs Neu dem Abendtau zarte Nachtkerzenblüten auf; Einsiedlern gleich scheu'n sie das Licht, gönnen dem Tag ihr Blühen nicht. Die Nacht, blind ihren zarten Küssen, wird nie von ihrer Schönheit wissen. So blühn sie bis ans End' der Nacht. Wenn dann der neue Tag erwacht verblühn sie, ziehen sich zurück, sobald das Licht trifft ihren Blick.
- Singable translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2013 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.
Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT) t-online.deIf you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:
- a text in English by John Clare (1793 - 1864), "Evening Primrose", appears in The Rural Muse, in Sonnets, no. 37, first published 1835
This text was added to the website: 2013-06-16
Line count: 14
Word count: 80