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by Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830 - 1894)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

When I am dead, my dearest
Language: English 
Available translation(s): GER ITA
When I am dead, my dearest,
  Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
  Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
  With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
  And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,
  I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
  Sing on, as if in pain:
And dreaming through the twilight
  That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
  And haply may forget.

About the headline (FAQ)


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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Alfred Kerr (1867 - 1948) , no title ; composed by Paul Dessau, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Richard Maux.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Helen Dellenbauch Tretbar (1835 - 1902) ; composed by Frank Valentin Van der Stucken.
  • Also set in Welsh (Cymraeg), a translation by Cynan ; composed by Oliver Henry Edwards.

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Nach meinem Tode, Liebster", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Canzone", copyright © 2012, (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: 16
Word count: 87

Nach meinem Tode, Liebster
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Nach meinem Tode, Liebster,
sing keine Leisen mir;
nicht Rose noch Zypresse pflanz'
aufs Grabe mir, zur Zier:
mög grünes Gras ersprießen,
das Tau und Regen netzt;
sei's, dass du mein gedenkest,
oder vergisst zuletzt.

Werd' nicht die Schatten sehen,
verspür'n des Regens Strom;
Ich höre nicht der Nachtigall
Gesang im Klageton;
ich träum' im Dämmerlichte,
das weder steigt noch fällt,
mag mich der Welt erinnern,
mag ledig sein der Welt.


  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2005 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.de

    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2005-12-15
Line count: 16
Word count: 71