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

As imperceptibly as grief
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER ITA
As imperceptibly as grief
The Summer lapsed away --
Too imperceptible, at last,
To seem like Perfidy -- 

A Quietness distilled
As Twilight long begun,
Or Nature spending with herself
Sequestered Afternoon --

The Dusk drew earlier in --
The morning foreign shone --
A courteous, yet harrowing Grace,
As Guest, [that]1 would be gone --

And thus, without a Wing
Or service of a Keel
Our Summer made her light escape
Into the Beautiful.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Bacon: "who"


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 © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , copyright © 2010, (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

So wenig wahrnehmbar wie Leid
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
So wenig wahrnehmbar wie Leid
verging des Sommers Blühn -
zu wenig wahrnehmbar zuletzt
als dass er treulos schien -

Ruh’ träufelte herab,
längst Zwielicht überm Land -
Natur den ganzen Nachmittag 
in Stille zu sich fand -

Die Dämmerung fiel früher ein -
fremder das Morgenrot -
anmutig, höflich, - schmerzlich doch -
ein Gast, der alsbald fort -

und solcherart, ganz flügellos
und ohne einen Kiel
entfloh der Sommer, mühelos,
ins schönere Exil.

About the headline (FAQ)


  • 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: 2017-05-21
Line count: 16
Word count: 75