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 1799. 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" tells of a young man's rejected love; the woman is represented by a rose. 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.

Literal translation
Once a boy saw a little rose standing,
Little rose of the field,
It was so young and beautiful,
He dashed there quickly to see it near,
Beholden with abundant joy,
Little rose, little rose, little rose red,
Little rose of the field.

The boy then said: "I shall pick thee,
Little rose of the field."
The little rose said: "I shall stick thee,
That you'll always think of me,
And, I'll not want to suffer it."
Little rose, little rose, little rose red,
Little rose of the field.

Still the rough boy picked the rose,
Little rose of the field.
The little rose fought thus and pricked,
No prose of pain could help her,
Alas, it must suffer it yet.
Little rose, little rose, little rose red,
Little rose of the field.

Poetic 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![1]

  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 became a popular folk song.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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]