by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)
Translation © by Walter A. Aue

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.

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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)

Another version of this text exists in the database.

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]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 20
Word count: 108

Weil ich für Ihn nicht halten konnt'
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Weil ich für Ihn nicht halten konnt',
Der Tod hielt an für mich;
Sein Wagen war nur für uns zwei
Für jetzt und ewiglich.

Gemach die Fahrt, Er kannt' nicht Hast,
Und ich, ich legt' beseit
Die Arbeit und die Muße mein,
Ob seiner Höflichkeit.

Wo Kinder spielen nach der Schul'
Da fuhren wir entlang;
Vorbei an Feldern, und vorbei
Am Sonnenuntergang.

Wir hielten an dem Haus, das schien
Bloß Wölbung der Natur;
Sogar das Dach war kaum zu sehn,
Der Sims die Erde nur.

Jahrhunderte vergingen schnell;
Noch schneller als die Zeit
In der die Pferde wendeten
Sich zu der Ewigkeit.

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  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2010 by Walter A. Aue, (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.

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This text was added to the website: 2010-01-12
Line count: 20
Word count: 102