by Matthias Claudius (1740 - 1815)
Translation © by Guy Laffaille

Ach, es ist so dunkel in des Todes...
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG ENG FRE NOR
Ach, es ist so dunkel in des Todes Kammer,
  Tönt so traurig, wenn er sich bewegt
Und nun aufhebt seinen schweren Hammer,
  Und die Stunde schlägt.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Matthias Claudius, Werke. Dritter Band. Vierte Auflage. ASMUS omnia sua SECUM portans, oder Sämmtliche Werke des Wandsbecker Bothen, Sechster Theil, Cannstatt, C. F. Richter, 1835, page 85.


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 (John Glenn Paton) , "Ah, it is so dark in Death's chamber", copyright © 2000, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Michael P. Rosewall) , "Death", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "La mort", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • NOR Norwegian (Bokmål) (Marianne Beate Kielland) , "Døden", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Jeroen Scholten

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 4
Word count: 26

La mort
Language: French (Français)  after the German (Deutsch) 
Ah, il fait si sombre dans la chambre de la mort,
Cela sonne si lugubrement, quand elle met en mouvement
Et maintenant lève son lourd marteau
Et que l'heure sonne.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to French (Français) copyright © 2009 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.

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2009-09-11
Line count: 4
Word count: 30