Walther von der Vogelweide trans. Elisabeth Siekhaus

Under der linden
an der heide
dâ unser zweier bette was
dâ mugt ir vinden
schône beide
gebrochen bluomen unde gras
vor dem walde in einem tal
....schône sanc diu nahtegal.

Ich kam gegangen
zuo der ouwe
dô was mîn friedel komen ê
dâ wart ich enpfangen
hêre frouwe
daz ich bin sælic iemer mê
kuste er mich wol tûsentstunt
....seht wie rôt mir ist der munt.

Dô het er gemachet
alsô rîche
von bluomen eine bettestat
des wirt noch gelachet
kumt ieman an daz selbe pfat
bî den rôsen er wol mac
....merken wâ mirz houbet lac.

Daz er bî mir læge
wessez ieman
nu enwelle got sô schamt ich mich
wes er mit mir pflæge
niemer nieman
bevinde daz wan er und ich
und ein kleinez vogellîn
....daz mac wol getriuwe sîn

Under the linden
by the meadow,
where our bed was,
there you can find,
beautifully broken,
the flowers and the grass.
Before the forest in a valley -
Tandaradei -
....Beautifully sang the nightingale.

I came walking
to the meadow,
my lover had come there already before.
There I was received,
(Holy Virgin!)
for that I am happy forever.
Did he kiss me? At least a thousand times.
tandaradei -
....See, how red my mouth is!

There he made -
so splendidly,
a bed out of flowers.
Those will laugh,
who come by on the path
and see by the roses,
tandaradei -
....where my head lay.

That he lay with me -
if anyone knew
(God forbid) I would be ashamed.
How he was with me,
Never, no one
may find out, except for him and me,
and a little bird
tandaradei -
....that will well keep my secret.

Click here 3 for another translation of this poem.

Trans. Copyright © Elisabeth Siekhaus 2008

translator's next