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

There came a wind like a bugle
Language: English 
Available translation(s): CAT FRE GER ITA
There came a wind like a bugle,
It quivered through the grass,
And a green chill upon the heat
So ominous did pass

We barred the windows and the doors
As from an emerald ghost
The doom's electric moccasin
That very instant passed.

On a strange mob of panting trees,
And fences fled away,
And rivers where the houses ran
The living looked that day,

The bell within the steeple wild,
The flying tidings whirled.
How much can come and much can go,
And yet abide the world!

About the headline (FAQ)


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Set in a modified version by Gordon Getty, Lee Hoiby, Leon Kirchner.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , title 1: "Vingué un vent com un clarí", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Alors vint un vent comme un clairon", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , copyright © 2010, (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: 88

Alors vint un vent comme un clairon
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Alors vint un vent comme un clairon,
Il frissonna dans l'herbe
Et un froid vert sur la chaleur
Si menaçante est passé.

Nous avons mis la barre à la fenêtre et aux portes
Comme contre un fantôme émeraude
Le mocassin électrique du sort
À l'instant même a frappé.

Sur une étrange foule d'arbres essoufflés
Et des haies enfuies au loin
Et des rivières coulant à la place des maisons
Les vivants jetaient les yeux ce jour-là.

La cloche dans le clocher sauvage
A fait tourbillonner la nouvelle qui vole
Combien tout peut changer et combien peut arriver
Et pourtant le monde demeure.


  • 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.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2008-11-09
Line count: 16
Word count: 102