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The LiederNet Archive

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Six Poems by Emily Dickinson

Word count: 338

Song Cycle by John Woods Duke (1899 - 1984)

German (Deutsch) translation: Sechs Gedichte von Emily Dickinson (Bertram Kottmann)

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1. Good Morning -- Midnight [ 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 (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Good Morning -- Midnight --
I'm coming Home --
Day -- got tired of Me --
How could I -- of Him?

Sunshine was a sweet place --
I liked to stay --
But Morn -- didn't want me -- now --
So -- Goodnight -- Day!

I can look -- can't I --
When the East is Red?
The Hills -- have a way -- then --
That puts the Heart -- abroad --

You -- are not so fair -- Midnight --
I chose -- Day --
But -- please take a little Girl --
He turned away!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Heart, we will forget him [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): CAT FRE GER ITA

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Cor, l’oblidarem", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Mon cœur, nous l'oublierons", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Heart, we will forget him
You and I, tonight.
You may forget the warmth he gave,
I will forget the light.

When you have done, pray tell me,
That I [my thoughts may dim]1;
Haste! lest while you're lagging,
I may remember him!


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1 another version (Dickinson): "may straight begin"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Let down the bars [ 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 (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Let down the bars, O Death!
The tired flocks come in
Whose bleating ceases to repeat,
Whose wandering is done.

Thine is the stillest night,
Thine the [securest]1 fold;
Too near thou art for seeking thee,
Too tender to be told.


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1 Jordahl: "severest"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. An awful tempest mashed the air [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER ITA

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Una tempesta orribile", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


An awful Tempest mashed the air --
The clouds were gaunt, and few --
A Black -- as of a Spectre's Cloak
Hid Heaven and Earth from view.

The creatures chuckled on the Roofs --
And whistled in the air --
And shook their fists --
And gnashed their teeth --
And swung their frenzied hair.

The morning lit -- the Birds arose --
The Monster's faded eyes
Turned slowly to his native coast --
And peace -- was Paradise!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Nobody knows this little Rose [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): GER

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  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Nobody knows this little rose,
It might a pilgrim be.
Did I not take it from the ways
And lift it up to thee.

Only a bee will miss it,
Only a butterfly,
Hastening from far journey
On its breast to lie.

Only a bird will wonder,
Only a breeze will sigh,
Ah, little rose, how easy
For such as thee to die!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. Bee! I'm expecting you! [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): GER GER

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , no title, copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Bee! I'm expecting you!
Was saying Yesterday
To Somebody you know
That you were due --

The Frogs got Home last Week --
Are settled, and at work --
Birds, mostly back --
The Clover warm and thick --

You'll get my Letter by
The Seventeenth; Reply
Or better, be with me --
Yours, Fly.


Confirmed with The Poems of Emily Dickinson, ed. R.W. Franklin, Volume 2, Cambridge, MA and London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1998, Poem 983.


Submitted by Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

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