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

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]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 84

Gern seh ich, wie sie Meilen frisst
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Gern seh ich, wie sie Meilen frisst
und leckt die Täler auf
und hält an Tanks, Wasser zu ziehn;
hernach - gewalt’ger Schritt

umfährt sie Berg und Hügel,
hochnäsig blickt sie dann
in Hütten längs der Bahn,
gräbt sich drauf in den Fels,

so breit sie ist, und kriecht hindurch,
klagt schon die ganze Zeit
ihr gräulich heulend Lied;
dann donnert sie bergab

wiehert wie Boanerges*;
dann, pünktlich wie ein Stern
hält sie, fügsam, allmächtig,
an ihrem Schuppen dann. 

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "The railway train" = "Die Eisenbahn"
* Mk 3, 17


  • 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: 2017-09-22
Line count: 16
Word count: 79