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

A drop fell on the apple tree
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER
A drop fell on the apple tree.
Another on the roof;
A half a dozen kissed the eaves,
And made the gables laugh.

A few went out to help the brook,
That went to help the sea.
Myself conjectured, Were they pearls,
What necklaces could be!

The dust replaced in hoisted roads,
The birds jocoser sung;
The sunshine threw his hat away,
The orchard spangles hung.

The breezes brought dejected lutes,
And bathed them in the glee;
The East put out a single flag,
And signed the fête away.

E. Bacon sets stanzas 1-2 in (at least) one setting - see below for more information

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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 © 2017, (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]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 89

Ein Tropfen auf den Apfelbaum
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Ein Tropfen auf den Apfelbaum.
Aufs Dach ein weit’rer fiel;
sechs küssten wohl die Traufen dann -
den Giebeln es gefiel.

Ein paar halfen dem Flusse aus,
der wiederum dem Meer.
Wenn’s Perlen wärn, stell ich mir vor,
welch Halsband gäb dies her.

Weg war der Staub, aus blanker Flur
klang Vogelfröhlichkeit;
Der Sonnenschein warf weg den Hut -
die Welt im Glitzerkleid.

Der Lüfte lustlos Lautenspiel -
der Frohsinn bracht’s auf Trab;
mit einer einz’gen Flagge winkt
der Ost die Feier ab.

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  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2017 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


This text was added to the website: 2017-05-07
Line count: 16
Word count: 83