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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"
- by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886), no title, appears in Poems of Emily Dickinson, first published 1890 [author's text not yet checked 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 John Coolidge Adams (b. 1947), "Because I could not stop for Death ", 1980-1, first performed 1981 [ chorus and orchestra ], from Harmonium, no. 2 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Gary Bachlund (b. 1947), "Because I could not stop for death", 1990 [ high voice and piano ] [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Ernst Bacon (1898 - 1990), "Immortality", 1978 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Charles Jason Bechtold , "Because I couuld not stop for death" [ SATB chorus a cappella ] [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Fania Chapiro , "Because I could not stop for death", 1988, from Three songs of death, no. 3 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Aaron Copland (1900 - 1990), "The chariot", 1949-50, published 1951 [ mezzo-soprano, piano ], from Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson, no. 12 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Leslie Crabtree (b. 1941), "Because I could not stop for Death", 2007 [ voice and piano ] [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Sergius Kagen (1909 - 1964), "Because I would not stop for Death", published 1951 [ medium voice, piano ] [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Tim Silva , "Because I couuld not stop for death", 2008 [ women's chorus a cappella ] [sung text not yet checked]
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, 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) t-online.deIf you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:
- a text in English by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886), no title, appears in Poems of Emily Dickinson, first published 1890
This text was added to the website: 2015-06-10
Line count: 20
Word count: 98