Heidenröslein

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"Heidenröslein" or "Heideröslein" ("Rose on the Heath" or "Little Rose of the Field") is a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, published in 1789. It was written in 1771 during Goethe's stay in Strasbourg when he was in love with Friederike Brion, to whom the poem is addressed. The episode is the inspiration for Franz Lehár's 1928 operetta Friederike [de], which includes a setting of "Heidenröslein" by Lehár.

Heidenröslein

"Heidenröslein" tells of a young man who sees a small rose in the meadow and decides to pluck it, despite the rose's warning that she will stick him with her thorn so he will not forget his transgression. Nevertheless, the "wild" boy "breaks" the rose, who must bear the pain with no recourse. The text could be interpreted as the boy overcoming a girl (the rose) by force; she does not consent to this violation but he does not heed her protests. She must suffer the consequences. There is a companion poem by Goethe, "Das Veilchen", in which the man is represented by a violet.

Text[edit]

 
Sah ein Knab' ein Röslein stehn,
Röslein auf der Heiden,
War so jung und morgenschön,
Lief er schnell es nah zu sehn,
Sah's mit vielen Freuden.
Röslein, Röslein, Röslein rot,
Röslein auf der Heiden.

Knabe sprach: "Ich breche dich,
Röslein auf der Heiden."
Röslein sprach: "Ich steche dich,
Dass du ewig denkst an mich,
Und ich will's nicht leiden."
Röslein, Röslein, Röslein rot,
Röslein auf der Heiden.

Und der wilde Knabe brach
's Röslein auf der Heiden;
Röslein wehrte sich und stach,
Half ihr[n 1] doch kein Weh und Ach,
Musste[n 2] es eben leiden.
Röslein, Röslein, Röslein rot,
Röslein auf der Heiden.[1]

Literal translation
A boy saw a little rose standing,
Little rose on the heath,
Was so young and morning-pretty,
He ran quickly to see it near,
Saw it with much joy,
Little rose, little rose, little rose red,
Little rose on the heath.

Boy said: "I'll break you,
Little rose on the heath."
Little rose said: "I'll prick you,
That you forever think of me,
And I'll not want to suffer it."
Little rose, little rose, little rose red,
Little rose on the heath.

And the wild boy broke
The little rose on the heath;
Little rose defended herself and pricked,
Saved her though no pain or woe,
Had to suffer it anyway.
Little rose, little rose, little rose red,
Little rose on the heath.

Bowring translation
Once a boy a Rosebud spied,
Heathrose fair and tender,
All array'd in youthful pride,–
Quickly to the spot he hied,
Ravished by her splendour.
Rosebud, rosebud, rosebud red,
Heathrose fair and tender!

Said the boy, "I'll now pick thee,
Heathrose fair and tender!"
Said the rosebud, "I'll prick thee,
So that thou'lt remember me,
Ne'er will I surrender!"
Rosebud, rosebud, rosebud red,
Heathrose fair and tender!

Now the cruel boy must pick
Heathrose fair and tender;
Rosebud did her best to prick,–
Vain 'twas 'gainst her fate to kick–
She must needs surrender.
Rosebud, rosebud, rosebud red,
Heathrose fair and tender![2]

  1. ^ "ihm" in Schubert's composition
  2. ^ "musst" in Schubert's composition

Settings[edit]

Schubert's "Heidenröslein"

It has been set to music by a number of composers, most notably in 1815 by Franz Schubert as his D. 257. Schubert's setting is partially based on Pamina's and Papageno's duet "Könnte jeder brave Mann" from the end of act 1 of Mozart's The Magic Flute. The 1829 setting by Heinrich Werner (below) became a popular folk song.


\new Staff
<<
  \new Voice \relative c' {
    \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"clarinet"
    \autoBeamOff
    \language "deutsch"
    \tempo 4 = 100 \set Score.tempoHideNote = ##t
    \time 6/8 \key d \major
    fis4 fis8 a8. ( g16 ) fis8
    e4 e8 e4. fis4 fis8 g ( a )
    h h4. a4 r8 a4 g8 fis4
    fis8 fis4 e8 d4. d4 d8 d ( e )
    fis g4 fis8 e4 r8
    fis4 fis8 a8. ( g16 ) fis8 fis4. e4 r8
    fis4 a8 h4 h8 a ( h ) cis d4. d4
    h8 a4 fis8 e8. ( fis16 ) e8 d4 r8
    \bar "|."
  }
  \addlyrics {
    Sah ein Knab ein Rös -- lein stehn,
    Rös -- lein auf der Hei -- den,
    war so jung und mor -- gen -- schön,
    lief er schnell, es nah zu sehn,
    sah's mit vie -- len Freu -- den.
    Rös -- lein, Rös -- lein, Rös -- lein rot,
    Rös -- lein auf der Hei -- den.
  }
>>

References[edit]

  1. ^ Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von (1789). "Heidenröslein". Goethe's Schriften. Vol. 8. Leipzig: Georg Joachim Göschen. pp. 105–106.
  2. ^ Lucretia van Tuyl Simmons (1919). Goethe's Lyric Poems in English Translation Prior to 1860. Madison: University of Wisconsin. p. 62., citing a translation by Edgar Alfred Bowring from 1853

External links[edit]