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

The Judge is like the Owl
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER
The Judge is like the Owl -
I’ve heard my Father tell -
And Owls do build in Oaks -
So here’s an Amber Sill -

That slanted in my Path -
When going to the Barn -
And if it serve You for a House -
Itself is not in vain -

About the price - ’tis small -
I only ask a Tune
At Midnight - Let the Owl select
His favourite Refrain.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with The Poems of Emily Dickinson, ed. R.W. Franklin, Volume 2, Cambridge, MA and London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1998, Poem 728.


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) , "Le hibou", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Sharon Krebs) , "Die Eule", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2014-08-28
Line count: 12
Word count: 75

Le hibou
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Le Juge est comme le Hibou --
J'ai entendu mon Père le dire --
Et les Hiboux construisent dans les chênes --
Ainsi un Rebord d'Ambre --

S'est penché sur mon Chemin --
Quand j'allais à la Grange --
Et s'il Te sert de Maison --
Il n'est pas là en vain --

Pour le prix -- il est petit --
Je demande seulement un Air
À Minuit -- Que le Hibou choisisse
Son Refrain préféré.


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2017 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: 2017-09-10
Line count: 12
Word count: 65