by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)
Translation © by Guy Laffaille

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)

Set in a modified version by .

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]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:26
Line count: 20
Word count: 108

La voiture
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Parce que je n'ai pas voulu m'arrêter pour la mort
Il s'est arrêté gentiment pour moi.
La voiture ne contenait que nous deux
Et l'immortalité.

Nous avancions doucement, il n'est pas pressé
Et j'avais renoncé à
Mon travail, et à mon temps libre aussi
Par courtoisie envers lui.

Nous sommes passés devant l'école où jouaient les enfants
Leurs cours à peine finis
Nous sommes passés devant les champs de blé qui regardaient
Nous sommes passés devant le soleil couchant.

Nous nous sommes arrêtés devant une maison qui semblait
Un renflement de terre
Le toit était à peine visible
La corniche n'était qu'un monticule.

Depuis des siècles ont passé mais chacun
Semble plus court que le jour
Où j'ai supposé la première fois que la tête des chevaux
Étaient tournées vers l'éternité.


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2008 by Guy Laffaille, (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.

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Text added to the website: 2008-11-09 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:00
Line count: 20
Word count: 131