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

An awful Tempest mashed the air
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER ITA
An awful Tempest mashed the air --
The clouds were gaunt, and few --
A Black -- as of a Spectre's Cloak
Hid Heaven and Earth from view.

The creatures chuckled on the Roofs --
And whistled in the air --
And shook their fists --
And gnashed their teeth --
And swung their frenzied hair.

The morning lit -- the Birds arose --
The Monster's faded eyes
Turned slowly to his native coast --
And peace -- was Paradise!

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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):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Una tempesta orribile", copyright © 2009, (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: 13
Word count: 69

Une horrible tempête brassait l'air
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Une horrible tempête brassait l'air --
Les nuages étaient lugubres, et peu nombreux --
Du Noir -- comme un manteau de spectre
Cachait Ciel et Terre de la vue --

Les créatures gloussaient sur les Toits --
Et sifflaient dans l'air --
Et secouaient leurs poings -- 
Et grinçaient des dents --
Et balançaient leur chevelure frénétique --

Le matin s'éclaira -- les Oiseaux se levèrent --
Les yeux baissés du Monstre
Se tournèrent lentement vers sa côte natale --
Et la paix -- devint Paradis !

About the headline (FAQ)


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2009 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: 2009-12-18
Line count: 13
Word count: 74