by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

When they come back ‑‑ if Blossoms do
Language: English 
Available translation(s): CAT FRE GER ITA
When they come back -- if Blossoms do --
I always feel a doubt
If Blossoms can be born again
When once the Art is out --

When they begin, if Robins [may]1,
I always had a fear
I did not tell, it was their last Experiment
Last Year,

When it is May, if May return,
[Had]2 nobody a pang
Lest [in]3 a Face so beautiful
[He]4 might not look again?

If I am there -- One does not know
What Party -- One may be
Tomorrow, but if I am there
I take back all I say --

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Copland: "do"
2 Coulthard: "Hath", Copland: "Has"
3 Coulthard, Copland: "on"
4 Copland: "We"


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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Quan elles retornin", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Quand elles reviennent, si les fleurs reviennent", 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

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:26
Line count: 16
Word count: 93

Kehr’n sie zurück ‑ falls sie dies tun
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Kehr’n sie zurück - falls sie dies tun -
frag’ ich mich explizit,
ob Blüten wieder neu erblühn,
wenn sie einmal verblüht.

Ein neues Lied - falls es dies mag -
bange ist’s mir gewahr,
vielleicht war’s Kehlchens letztes Lied
vergang’nes Jahr.

Ist’s wieder Mai - falls er uns grüßt,
litt keiner eine Pein,
wenn sich sein schönes Angesicht
stellt strahlend wieder ein.

Stell ich mich ein - weiß man einst nicht,
wie ich erscheinen mag,
doch bin ich da, nehm' ich zurück
das Ganze, was ich sag. 

About the headline (FAQ)


  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2015 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT)

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Based on


Text added to the website: 2015-06-10 00:00:00
Last modified: 2015-06-10 10:52:37
Line count: 16
Word count: 88