1. The hunchbacked fiddler
There lived a fiddler in Frankfurt am Main
Who was going home, fuddled with wine,
When what did he see
as he came to the market square?
A crowd of lovely women
making very merry there.
"You hunchbacked fiddler, now fiddle for us,
We'll pay you handsomely for your pains;
A fine dance, nimbly played, for this year
We celebrate Walpurgis night!"
The fiddler struck up a lively dance,
The women danced the 'Rosenkranz';
Then the first one spoke, "My dear boy,
You've played so gaily, here's your reward."
With that, she gripped him
tight under his doublet
And took the hump away from his back:
"Go now, my fine slender fellow,
Now any girl will take you right away!"
2. The maiden
A girl stood on the mountain slope,
The rock reflecting her face,
And to her face this maiden said,
"Truly, thou face that art my care,
If I knew, white face of mine,
That some day an old man would kiss thee,
I´d go out on the green hillside,
Gather all the wormwood on the hill,
Press bitter water from the wormwood
And wash thee, my face, with water
So that thou wert bitter
when the old man kissed thee!
But if I knew, white face of mine,
That one day a young man kiss thee,
I´d go out into the garden green
Gather all the roses in the garden,
Press fragrant water from the roses
And wash thee, my face, with the water
So that thou wert fragrant
when the young man kissed thee!"
3. O sweet May
O sweet May,
The stream runs free,
While I am in confinement,
My eyes listless;
I do not see your garb of green,
Nor the splendour of your motley blooms
Nor your sky of blue;
My eyes are on the ground.
O sweet May,
Set me free
As the song heard
Along the dark hedges.
Little bird that now must depart;
Summer is leaving here
And you will fly away with it.
Little leaf that now must fall;
Autumn has shone on you,
Dyeing you red in death.
All love that now must part!
And if it should happen
That I never see you more,
5. The falcon
A falcon soars aloft,
Beating it´s wings with pride and strenght,
Flies upwards, then far away,
Until it sees the castle door.
At the door a maiden sits,
Washing her fair white face;
Mountain snow does not shine
So white as her neck.
As she washes, sitting there,
She raises her black lashes,
And no night star can be seen
That sparkles like her black eyes.
From on high the falcon speaks:
"O maiden, maiden fair!
Do not wash those cheeks of thine
So that they glisten like snow!
Do not raise thy delicate lids
So that thine eyes sparkle!
Cover thy white neck,
So that my heart will not break."
Will avert no distress,
Will not set you free.
To defy all powers,
Never to bow down,
Invoke the arms
Of the gods!