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

A bird came down the walk
Language: English 
Available translation(s): GER
A bird came down the walk:
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.
And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.
He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad, --
They looked like frightened beads, I thought
He stirred his velvet head
Like one in danger; cautious,
I offered him a crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home
Than oars divide the ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or butterflies, off banks of noon,
Leap, plashless, as they swim.

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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):

  • 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: 2008-09-14
Line count: 20
Word count: 107

Ein Vogel kam spaziert
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Ein Vogel kam spaziert,
mit einem Biss - ich sah’s- 
hat er den Angelwurm halbiert
und roh den Kerl dann fraß.

Trank drauf ein Tröpfchen Tau
an einem Halm nahbei,
dann hüpfte er zur Seit, auf dass
ein Käfer konnt’ vorbei.

Mit flinken Augen sah
er alles ringsumher -
erschrock’nen Perlen glichen sie;
den Samtkopf wandte er

wie in Gefahr; ich streute
bedachtsam Brösel aus,
drauf er die Schwingen spreizte 
und sanfter glitt nach Haus

als Ruder Wasser spalten,
zu silbern, ohne Laut  -
ein Falter, der von Mittags Strand
der Luft sich anvertraut.

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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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This text was added to the website: 2017-09-03
Line count: 20
Word count: 94