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Schubert-related Programs Schubert's 1825 Travel with Photos"Water Songs and Water Landscapes: Multimedia Show"

Die Forelle   The Trout

Poem: Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart

Translation by Tomoko Yamamoto (©2006)


In einem Bächlein helle, da schoss in froher Eil
Die launische Forelle vorüber wie ein Pfeil.
Ich stand an dem Gestade und sah in süsser Ruh
Des muntern Fischleins Bade im klaren Bächlein zu
Des muntern Fischleins Bade im klaren Bächlein zu

Ein Fischer mit der Rute wohl an dem Ufer stand,
Und sah’s mit kaltem Blute, wie sich das Fischlein wand.
So lang’ dem Wasser Helle, so dacht ich, nicht gebricht,
So fängt er die Forelle mit seiner Angel nicht.
So fängt er die Forelle mit seiner Angel nicht.

Doch endlich ward dem Diebe die Zeit zulang.
Er macht das Bächlein tückish trübe
Und eh ich es gedacht, so zuckte seine Rute,
Das Fischlein, das Fischlein, zappelt dran,
Und ich mit regem Blute Sah die Betrog'ne an.
Und ich mit regem Blute Sah die Betrog'ne an.

In a clear brooklet in happy haste
The impulsive trout dashed past like an arrow.
I stood on the bank and watch in sweet repose
The bath of the lively small fish in the clear brooklet.
The bath of the lively small fish in the clear brooklet.

A fisherman with his rod stood on the bank
And saw cold-bloodedly how the fish was turning around
So long as the water stays clear, I thought,
He won’t catch the trout with his fishing rod.
He won’t catch the trout with his fishing rod.

At last the thief became impatient.
He made the stream muddy maliciously
And I thought, his rod quivered
The fish, the fish was wriggling on it,
And I, with my blood boiling, looked at the duped,
And I, with my blood boiling, looked at the duped.


Note: The German text shown above is the exactly the way Franz Schubert used the text when he set it to music including the repeats, which reflect the repeats in the music. The original text may not have repeating phrases.

Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart (1739-1791) was imprisoned for ten years because of his political views. Schubert used the first three stanzas in this setting and discarded the last stanza which warns young girls to be on watch for men with the rods. Therefore the poet originally meant the trout and the fisherman to be symbolic figures. The song as set by Schubert depicts a free-swimming trout to be treacherously caught by a fisherman which is reported as a first-person account.


Back to the Program Outline for "Water Songs and Water Landscapes: Multimedia Show".
Last Update: May 31, 2007