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Three Songs from Emily Dickinson

Word count: 161

Song Cycle by William Keith Rogers (b. 1921)

German (Deutsch) translation: Drei Emily Dickinson Lieder (Bertram Kottmann)

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1. Lightly stepped a yellow star [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): GER

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Lightly stepped a yellow star
To its lofty place,
Loosed the Moon her silver hat
From her lustral face.
All of evening softly lit
As an astral hall -
"Father," I observed to Heaven,
"You are punctual."


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. I like to see it lap the miles [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Fran├žais) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


I like to see it lap the miles,
And lick the valleys up,
And stop to feed itself at tanks;
And then, prodigious, step

Around a pile of mountains,
And, supercilious, peer
In shanties by the sides of roads;
And then a quarry pare

To fit its [sides]1, and crawl between,
Complaining all the while
In horrid, hooting stanza;
Then chase itself down hill

And neigh like Boanerges;
Then, punctual as a star,
Stop - docile and omnipotent -
At its own stable door.


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1 Getty, Perle: "ribs"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. The heart asks pleasure first [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER GER

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Fran├žais) (Guy Laffaille) , "Le Cœur réclame le Plaisir - d'abord", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


The heart asks pleasure - first,
And then excuse from pain.
And then those little anodynes
That deaden suffering.

And then, to go to sleep;
And then, if it should be
The will of its Inquisitor,
The liberty to die.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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