by Franz Kafka (1883 - 1924)
Translation © by Laura Prichard

Zu spät (22. Oktober 1913)
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Zu spät. 
Die Süßigkeit der Trauer und der Liebe. 
Von ihr angelächelt werden im Boot. 
Das war das Allerschönste. 
Immer nur das Verlangen, zu sterben 
und das Sich-noch-Halten, das allein ist Liebe.


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):

  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , "Too late (October 22, 1913)", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Trop tard : 22 octobre 1913", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Ferdinando Albeggiani

Text added to the website: 2009-05-20 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:14
Line count: 6
Word count: 32

Too late (October 22, 1913)
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Too late. 
The sweetness of sorrow and love. 
Her smiling face in a boat. 
That was the best of all. 
Always longing for death 
and holding yourself back, that alone is love.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2020 by Laura Prichard, (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


Text added to the website: 2020-01-08 00:00:00
Last modified: 2020-01-08 01:46:02
Line count: 6
Word count: 32