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It was not Death, for I stood up

Language: English

It was not Death, for I stood up,
And all the Dead, lie down --
It was not Night, for all the Bells
Put out their Tongues, for Noon.

It was not Frost, for on my Flesh
I felt Siroccos -- crawl --
Nor Fire -- for just my Marble feet
Could keep a Chancel, cool --

And yet, it tasted, like them all,
The Figures I have seen
Set orderly, for Burial,
Reminded me, of mine --

As if my life were shaven,
And fitted to a frame,
And could not breathe without a key,
And 'twas like Midnight, some -

When everything that ticked -- has stopped --
And Space stares all around --
Or Grisly frosts -- first Autumn morns,
Repeal the Beating Ground --

But, most, like Chaos - Stopless -- cool --
Without a Chance, or Spar --
Or even a Report of Land --
To justify -- Despair.


Translation(s): FRE

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About the headline (FAQ)

Submitted by Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor]

Authorship


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title unknown, copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Text added to the website: 2009-11-19.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:27
Line count: 24
Word count: 138

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Ce n'était pas la Mort, car je me tenais...

Language: French (Français) after the English

Ce n'était pas la Mort, car je me tenais debout,
Et tous les Morts sont allongés --
Ce n'était pas la nuit, car toutes les Cloches
Tiraient leurs langues, pour Midi.

Ce n'était pas le gel, car sur ma Chair
Je sentais des Siroccos -- ramper --
Ni le Feu -- car seuls mes pieds de marbre
Pouvaient garder un Chœur, frais --

Et pourtant, cela y ressemblait, comme elles toutes,
Les Formes que j'ai vues
Rangées en ordre, pour l'Enterrement,
Me rappelant, le mien --

Comme si ma vie avait été rabotée,
Et ajustée à un cadre,
Et ne pouvait plus respirer sans une clé,
Et c'était comme Minuit, un peu --

Quand tout ce qui faisait tic-tac -- s'était arrêté --
Et que l'Espace écarquille les yeux -- tout autour --
Ou que les gels Sinistres -- des premiers matins d'Automne,
Annulent la Terre qui bat --

Mais, surtout, comme le Chaos, -- sans Arrêt -- froid --
Sans une Chance, ou une vergue --
Ou même une Rumeur de la Terre --
Pour justifier -- le Désespoir.


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About the headline (FAQ)

Authorship

  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2009 by Guy Laffaille, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

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Based on
  • a text in English by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886), no title
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Gordon Getty, Paul Gibson. Go to the text.

 

Text added to the website: 2009-11-19.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:27
Line count: 24
Word count: 161