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

I like to see it lap the miles
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER
I like to see it lap the miles,
And lick the valleys up,
And stop to feed itself at tanks;
And then, prodigious, step

Around a pile of mountains,
And, supercilious, peer
In shanties by the sides of roads;
And then a quarry pare

To fit its [sides]1, and crawl between,
Complaining all the while
In horrid, hooting stanza;
Then chase itself down hill

And neigh like Boanerges;
Then, punctual as a star,
Stop - docile and omnipotent -
At its own stable door.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Getty, Perle: "ribs"


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):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2017-09-22 15:59:04
Line count: 16
Word count: 84

J'aime le voir avaler les Miles
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
J'aime le voir avaler les Miles --
Et lécher le fond des Vallées --
Et s'arrêter pour se nourrir aux Réservoirs --
Et puis -- prodigieusement aller

Autour d'un Tas de Montagnes --
Et dédaigneusement regarder
Les cabanes -- au bord des Routes --
Et puis peler une Carrière 

Pour s'ajuster à ses côtés et ramper à travers
Se plaignant tout le temps 
En un couplet horrible -- de son sifflet --
Puis se pourchasser lui-même en descendant la Colline --

Et hennir comme Boanergès --
Puis -- plus à l'heure qu'une Étoile
S'arrêter -- docile et tout puissant
À la porte de son étable --

About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"The railway train" = "Le chemin de fer"
"I like to see it lap the miles" = "J'aime le voir avaler les Miles"


  • 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.

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Text added to the website: 2016-12-31 00:00:00
Last modified: 2017-02-16 14:13:29
Line count: 16
Word count: 92