LiederNet: The Lied, Art Song, and Choral Texts Archive
This website stores both public-domain AND copyright-protected material.
It is illegal to copy and distribute material marked copyright without permission.

Wenn nur ein Traum das Dasein ist

Language: German (Deutsch)

Wenn nur ein Traum das [Dasein]1 ist,
Warum denn Müh und Plag?
Ich trinke, bis ich nicht mehr kann,
Den ganzen, lieben Tag!

Und wenn ich nicht mehr trinken kann,
Weil [Leib und Kehle]2 voll,
So tauml' ich [hin vor]3 meiner Tür
Und schlafe wundervoll!

Was hör ich beim Erwachen? Horch!
Ein Vogel singt im Baum.
Ich frag ihn, ob schon Frühling sei,
Mir ist als wie im Traum.

Der Vogel zwitschert: "Ja! Der Lenz
[Ist da,]4 sei kommen über Nacht!"
[Ich seufze tief ergriffen auf]5
Der Vogel singt und lacht!

Ich fülle mir den Becher neu
Und leer ihn bis zum Grund
Und singe, bis der Mond erglänzt
Am schwarzen Firmament!

Und wenn ich nicht mehr singen kann,
So schlaf ich wieder ein,
Was geht [denn mich]6 der Frühling an!?
Laßt mich betrunken sein!

Translation(s): ENG ITA FRE ENG CAT

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Mahler: "Leben"
2 Mahler: "Kehl und Seele"
3 Mahler: ""bis zu
4 added by Mahler
5 Mahler: "Aus tiefstem Schauen lausch ich auf,"
6 Mahler: "mich denn"
Die chinesische Flöte. Nachdichtungen chinesischer Lyrik, Band 1, YinYang Media Verlag. ISBN 3-9806799-5-0.
Note: this text is still copyright in the EU by YinYang Media Verlag.


Based on Based on

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Set in German (Deutsch), a translation possibly by Alfred Henschke (1890 - 1928) ENG FRE Set in English, a translation by Herbert Allen Giles (1845 - 1935) , title unknown FRE GER
Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):
    * ENG English (Emily Ezust) , title 1: "The drunkard in Spring ", copyright ©
    * ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , title 1: "L'ubriaco in primavera", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
    * FRE French (Français) [singable] (Michel Dimitri Calvocoressi) , title unknown
    * ENG English [singable] (Mrs. Bertram Shapleigh) , title unknown
    * CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , title 1: "L'embriac a la primavera", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2004-01-16.

Notes about what "text verified" means can be found here.

Gentle Reminder
This is a personal project that I began in 1995. I receive no salary for my full-time work on it, and aside from ad revenue and copyright fees, the Archive was supported financially last year by fewer than 0.02% of our visitors. So if you found the information here useful, please consider making a donation. Your gift is greatly appreciated.
     - Emily Ezust, Founder
I also have a wishlist at

The drunkard in Spring

Language: English

If life is only a dream,
why then the misery and torment?
I drink until I can drink no more,
the whole, dear day!

And when I can drink no more,
because my stomach and soul are full,
I stagger to my door
and sleep very well!

What do I hear when I awaken? Listen!
A bird singing in the tree.
I ask him whether it is already spring -
it's like a dream to me.

The bird twitters, "Yes! Spring
is here, it has come overnight!"
With deep concentration I listen,
and the bird sings and laughs!

I fill my goblet afresh
and drain it to the bottom
and sing, until the moon shines
in the dark firmament!

And when I can sing no more,
I fall asleep again,
for what is springtime to me? --
Let me be drunk!

IMPORTANT NOTE: THE MATERIAL DIRECTLY ABOVE IS COPYRIGHT and exists on our server by special permission. If you wish to copy it and distribute it, you MUST obtain permission or you will be breaking the law. Copyright infringement is a serious criminal offense under international law.


    * Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust,

    (emily at lieder dot net)

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust, from The Lied, Art Song, and Choral Texts Archive --

    For any other purpose, please write to the above e-mail address to request permission and discuss possible fees.

Based on Based on Based on

Text added to the website: 2004-01-16.