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Nature, the gentlest mother Impatient of no child, The feeblest or the waywardest, - Her admonition mild In forest and the hill By traveller is heard, Restraining rampant squirrel Or too impetuous bird. How fair her conversation, A summer afternoon, - Her household, her assembly; And when the sun goes down Her voice among the aisles Incites the timid prayer Of the minutest cricket, The most unworthy flower. When all the children sleep She turns as long away As will suffice to light her lamps; Then, bending from the sky, With infinite affection And infiniter care, Her golden finger on her lip, Wills silence everywhere.
About the headline (FAQ)
- by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886), no title, appears in Poems by Emily Dickinson, first published 1891 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Ernst Bacon (1898 - 1990), "The gentlest mother", published 1971 [soprano and alto soli, SSA chorus, and piano], from Nature [text not verified]
- by Ernst Bacon (1898 - 1990), "Nature, the gentlest mother", published 1944 [voice and piano], from the collection Songs from Emily Dickinson: Nature Time and Space - Volume 2 [text verified 1 time]
- by Aaron Copland (1900 - 1990), "Nature, the gentlest mother", 1949-50 [mezzo-soprano, piano], from Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson, no. 1. [text verified 1 time]
Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Nature, mère la plus gentille", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , title 1: "Natura, la mare més gentil", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Ted Perry
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 105
Nature, mère la plus gentille Impatiente avec aucun enfant Le plus faible ou le plus rétif Modérée dans ses reproches Dans la forêt et la colline Le voyageur l'entend Retenant l'écureuil exubérant Ou l'oiseau trop impétueux. Comme sa conversation est belle Un après-midi d'été Sa demeure, ses proches Et quand le soleil se couche Sa voix parmi les allées Invite à la prière timide Le plus petit grillon Et la moindre fleur Quand tous les enfants dorment Elle s'éloigne juste le temps Qu'il faut pour allumer ses lampes Puis, se penchant depuis le ciel Avec une affection infinie Et un soin plus infini Son doigt d'or sur ses lèvres Elle demande le silence partout.
- Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2008 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.
- a text in English by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886), no title, appears in Poems by Emily Dickinson, first published 1891
This text was added to the website: 2008-11-09
Line count: 24
Word count: 114