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

Sleep is supposed to be
Language: English 
Available translation(s): CAT FRE GER ITA
Sleep is supposed to be,
By souls of sanity,
The shutting of the eye.

Sleep is the station grand
Down which on either hand
The hosts of witness stand!

Morn is supposed to be,
By people of degree,
The breaking of the day.

Morning has not occurred!
That shall aurora be
East of Eternity;

One with the banner gay,
One in the red array, -
That is the break of day.

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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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "La son se suposa que és", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Le sommeil est supposé être", 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 © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:26
Line count: 15
Word count: 71

Le sommeil est supposé être
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Le sommeil est supposé être
Pour les âmes de bon sens
La fermeture de l'œil.

Le sommeil est l'endroit grandiose
Où de chaque côté
Les foules de témoins se tiennent.

Le matin est supposé être
Pour les personnes d'un certain rang
Le point du jour.

La matin n'est pas arrivé !
Que l'aurore soit
À l'est de l'éternité ;

Avec la bannière éclatante,
Dans la parure rouge,
C'est le point du jour.


  • 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


Text added to the website: 2008-11-09 00:00:00
Last modified: 2018-03-15 09:15:59
Line count: 15
Word count: 72