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Mein Liebster ist so klein, dass ohne Bücken (1892) no.15

Part of a series or song cycle:

Italienisches Liederbuch

Mein Liebster ist so klein, dass ohne Bücken

Mein Liebster ist so klein, dass ohne Bücken
Er mir das Zimmer fegt mit seinen Locken.
Als er ins Gärtlein ging, Jasmin zu pflücken,
Ist er vor einer Schnecke sehr erschrocken.
Dann setzt er sich ins Haus um zu verschnaufen,
Da warf ihn eine Fliege übern Haufen;
Und als er hintrat an mein Fensterlein,
Stiess eine Bremse ihm den Schädel ein.
Verwünscht sei’n alle Fliegen, Schnaken, Bremsen,
Und wer ein Schätzchen hat aus den Maremmen!
Verwünscht sei’n alle Fliegen, Schnaken, Mücken
Und wer sich, wenn er küsst, so tief muss bücken!

My sweetheart's so small, that without bending down

My sweetheart’s so small, that without bending down
He can sweep my room with his hair.
When he entered the garden to pick jasmine
He was terrified by a snail.
Then when he came indoors to recover,
A fly knocked him head over heels;
And when he stepped over to my window,
A horse-fly caved his head in.
A curse on all flies – crane- and horse-
And anyone with a sweetheart from Maremma!
A curse on all flies, craneflies and midges
And on all who have to stoop for a kiss!
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)


Hugo Philipp Jacob Wolf was an Austrian composer of Slovene origin. He is particularly known for his art song, or Lieder. His Lieder display a concentrated expressive intensity unique to Wolf. 

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Paul Johann Ludwig von Heyse was a distinguished German writer and translator. A member of two important literary societies, the Tunnel über der Spree in Berlin and Die Krokodile in Munich, he wrote novels, poetry, 177 short stories, and about sixty dramas. The sum of Heyse's many and varied productions made him a dominant figure among German men of letters. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1910 "as a tribute to the consummate artistry, permeated with idealism, which he has demonstrated during his long productive career as a lyric poet, dramatist, novelist and writer of world-renowned short stories." Wirsen, one of the Nobel judges, said that "Germany has not had a greater literary genius since Goethe." Heyse is the fifth oldest laureate in literature, after Doris Lessing, Theodor Mommsen, Alice Munro and Jaroslav Seifert.

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