by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

Because I could not stop for Death
Language: English 
Available translation(s): CAT FRE GER GER ITA
Because I [could]1 not stop for Death --
He kindly stopped for me --
The carriage held but just ourselves --
and Immortality.

We slowly drove -- he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labour, and my leisure too
For His Civility --

We passed the school, where children played,
[ At wrestling in a ring]2
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

We paused before a house that seemed
a swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Copland, Kagen: "would"
2 Copland: "Their lessons scarcely done"


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

Another version of this text exists in the database.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "La voiture", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , copyright © 2010, (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) , "La carrozza", copyright © 2011, (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: 20
Word count: 108

Weil ich nicht steh’n blieb wegen ihm
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Weil ich nicht steh’n blieb wegen ihm,
da hielt der Tod für mich.
Im Wagen waren nur wir zwei
und das, was unsterblich.

Er fuhr gemächlich, ohne Hast
und ich legte beiseit,
alles was Müh’ und Muße war
aus lauter Höflichkeit.

Vorbei ging’s an dem Pausenhof,
da spielte man und rang,
vorbei an Feldern reifen Korns,
am Sonnenuntergang.

Dann Halt vor einem Haus, wie ein
gewölbter Erdenschoß
kaum sichtbar war sein Dach und sein
Gesims ein Hügel bloß.

Seit damals sind’s Jahrhunderte
doch fühlt ich diese Zeit
noch kürzer als den Tag an dem
es ging zur Ewigkeit.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "The chariot" = "Der Wagen"


  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2015 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT)

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Based on


This text was added to the website: 2015-06-10
Line count: 20
Word count: 98