by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)
Translation © by Guy Laffaille

Within my Garden, rides a Bird
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER
Within my Garden, rides a Bird
[Opon]1 a single Wheel -
Whose spokes a dizzy Music make
As 'twere a travelling Mill -

He never stops, but slackens -
Above the Ripest Rose -
Partakes without alighting -
And praises as he goes,

Till every spice is tasted -
And then his Fairy Gig
Reels in remoter atmospheres -
And I rejoin my Dog,

And He and I, perplex us
If positive, 'twere we -
Or bore the Garden in the Brain
This Curiosity -

But He, the best Logician,
Refers my [clumsy] 2 eye -
To just vibrating Blossoms!
An Exquisite Reply!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
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 370.

1 [sic] ; Philips: “Upon”
2 In one of the earlier published versions this word was “duller”


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):

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2014-08-28
Line count: 20
Word count: 103

Dans mon Jardin, un Oiseau pédale
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Dans mon Jardin, un Oiseau pédale
Sur une seule Roue --
Qui fait une musique folle
Comme s'il y avait un Moulin --

Il ne s'arrête jamais, mais ralentit
Au-dessus de la Rose la plus Ouverte --
Prend quelque chose sans se poser
Et la loue en s'en allant,

Jusqu'à ce que chaque épice ait été goûtée --
Et alors son Cabriolet Magique
Vacille vers des atmosphères plus éloignées --
Et je rejoins mon Chien,

Et Lui et Moi, nous nous posons la question
Si c'était vrai ce qui était devant nous,
Ou si le Jardin dans la Tête a fait naître
Cette Curiosité --

Mais Lui, le meilleur Logicien,
Renvoie mon œil maladroit --
Aux Fleurs qui vibrent encore !
Une Réponse exquise !

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "The hummingbird" = "L'oiseau-mouche"


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2016 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.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2016-04-13
Line count: 20
Word count: 118