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

Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER
Some say goodnight — at night —
I say goodnight by day —
Good-bye — the Going utter me —
Goodnight, I still reply —

For parting, that is night,
And presence, simply dawn —
Itself, the purple on the height
Denominated morn.


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) , "Bonne nuit", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2018-03-14
Line count: 8
Word count: 43

Bonne nuit
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Certains disent bonne nuit — la nuit —
je dis bonne nuit le jour —
Au revoir — Ceux qui s'en vont me disent —
Bonne nuit, je réponds encore —

Car partir, c'est la nuit,
Et la présence, simplement l'aube —
Elle-même, la pourpre sur la hauteur
Nommée le matin.


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2018 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: 2018-03-14
Line count: 8
Word count: 51