The Queen's Court Manuscript with Other Ancient Bohemian Poems/The Nosegay

For other English-language translations of this work, see The Nosegay (Queen’s Court Manuscript).


From the tall princely forests the light wind doth blow,
The maiden belov’d to the streamlet doth go,
With iron-shod pail scoops the waves as they fleet,
A nosegay there floats on the waves to her feet,
A nosegay of roses and violets sweet.
The maiden she reaches the nosegay to hold,
But she falls, ah! she falls in the water so cold!
O did I, fair nosegay, O did I but know,
Who, who was the planter that made thee to grow,
A bright golden ring I'd upon him bestow!
O knew I, thou nosegay, so sweet and so fair,
Who chose thee and pluck'd thee and bound thee with care,
I'd give him, I'd give him the pin from my hair!
O did I, fair nosegay, O did I but know,
Who gave thee to float on the waters that flow,
The wreath from my head I'd upon him bestow.”

  1. This and the following six songs have unquestionably been taken down from oral recitation. They form the greatest part of the 28th chapter of Book iii. of the Queen’s Court Manuscript. This song has been translated by Goethe into German verse, vol. ii. p. 423 of the edition of his complete works of 1850.