by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)
Translation © by Salvador Pila

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

Quan elles retornin
Language: Catalan (Català)  after the English 
Quan elles retornin – si les flors ho fan –
jo sempre tinc un dubte:
que si les flors podran tornar a néixer
quan hagi mort l’Art –

Quan ells comencen el cant, si ho poden fer 
els pit-roigs, jo sempre he tingut la por,
que mai he dit, de què llur darrer intent
hagués estat l’any passat.

Quan vingui el maig, si el maig retorna,
que ningú s’angoixi,
no fos que un rostre tan bell
poguéssim no tornar a veure.

Si jo sóc allà – mai se sap
amb quina companyia hom pot estar
demà, però si sóc allà,
retiro tot el que he dit –


  • Translation from English to Catalan (Català) copyright © 2016 by Salvador Pila, (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.

Based on


Text added to the website: 2016-03-29 00:00:00
Last modified: 2016-03-29 17:38:15
Line count: 16
Word count: 107