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

In falling timbers buried
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER
In falling timbers buried
There breathed a man.
Outside the spades were plying,
The lungs within.

Could he know they sought him,
Could they know he breathed,
Horrid sand partition,
Neither could be heard.

Never slacked the diggers,
But when spades had done,
Oh reward of anguish,
It was dying then.

Many things are fruitless,
'Tis a baffling earth,
But there is no gratitude
Like the Grace of death.

About the headline (FAQ)


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) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 69

Enterré sous des poutres tombées
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Enterré sous des poutres tombées --
Là respirait un Homme --
Dehors -- les pelles -- s'agitaient --
Les Poumons -- dedans --

Pouvait-Il -- savoir -- qu'ils Le cherchaient --
Pouvaient-ils -- savoir -- qu'Il respirait --
Horrible Séparation de Sable --
Aucun -- ne pouvait être entendu --

Jamais les Terrassiers ne se relâchaient --
Mais quand les pelles finirent --
Oh, Récompense de l'Angoisse,
Il mourait -- Alors --

Beaucoup de Choses -- sont vaines --
C'est une Terre Déconcertante --
Mais il n'y a aucune Gratitude
Comme la Grâce -- de la Mort --

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "In falling timbers buried" = "Enterré sous des poutres tombées"


  • 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: 2016-11-08
Line count: 16
Word count: 73