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