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Das Mühlrad (1816) Op. 72 no.1

Das Mühlrad

In jenem Thal dort unten
da geht ein Mühlenrad,
mein Liebchen ist verschwunden,
das dort gewohnet hat.
Sie hat die Treue versprochen,
gab mir einen Ring dabei.
Sie hat die Treue gebrochen,
das Ringlein sprang entzwei.
Ich möcht’ als Spielmann reisen
wohl in die Welt hinaus,
und singen meine Weisen
und zieh’n von Haus zu Haus.
Ich möcht’ als Reiter fliegen
wohl in die blut’ge Schlacht,
an stillem Feuer liegen
einsam bei kühler Nacht.
Ich hör ein Mühlrad gehen,
und weiß nicht, was ich will—
ich möcht’ am liebsten sterben,
dann wär’s auf einmal still.

The broken ring

There is a cool valley
In which a mill-wheel turns;
My sweetheart has gone away,
Who once lived there.
She promised to be faithful
And gave me a ring as a pledge,
She broke her promise,
My ring snapped in two.
I’d like to travel as a musician
Far out into the world,
And sing my tunes
Going from house to house.
I’d like to be a cavalryman
And charge into bloody battle,
And lie round quiet fires
During dark nights in the field.
When I hear the mill-wheel turn,
I don’t know what I want –
Most of all I’d like to die,
Then suddenly all would be still.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Conradin Kreutzer or Kreuzer was a German composer and conductor. 

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Johann Ludwig Uhland, was a German poet, philologist and literary historian.
He was born in Tübingen, Württemberg, and studied jurisprudence at the university there, but also took an interest in medieval literature, especially old German and French poetry. Having graduated as a doctor of laws in 1810, he went to Paris for eight months to continue his studies of poetry; and from 1812 to 1814 he worked as a lawyer in Stuttgart, in the bureau of the minister of justice.

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