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

I died for beauty, but was scarce
Language: English 
Available translation(s): GER GER
I died for beauty, but was scarce
Adjusted in the tomb,
When one who died for truth was lain
In an adjoining room.

He questioned softly why I failed?
"For beauty," I replied.
"And I for truth, - the two are one;
We brethren are," he said.

And so, as kinsmen met a night,
We talked between the rooms,
Until the moss had reached our lips,
And covered up our names.

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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):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , no title, copyright © 2018, (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: 12
Word count: 71

Für Schönheit starb ich ‑ hatte kaum
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Für Schönheit starb ich - hatte kaum
aufs Grab mich eingestellt,
als jemand, der für Wahrheit starb,
seitlich sich beigesellt.

Er fragte sacht, woran ich blieb.
„Für Schönheit“ meinte ich.
„Und ich für Wahrheit, - da sie eins,
sind Brüder, du und ich.“

Im Plauderton, weil wir verwandt,
ging’s nachts von Wand zu Wand,
bis Moos die Lippen uns verschloss,
über die Namen spross.

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  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2018 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: 2018-06-22
Line count: 12
Word count: 64