by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

If I can stop one heart from breaking
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER ITA
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

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):

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

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 7
Word count: 41

Kann ich auch nur ein Herz am Brechen...
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Kann ich auch nur ein Herz am Brechen hindern,
so leb' ich nicht vergebens;
und kann ich eines Wesens Schmerzen lindern
und Nöte seines Lebens,
und kann ein mattes Vöglein ich
ins Nest aufs Neue heben -
so leb' ich nicht vergebens.

About the headline (FAQ)

Anmerkung des Übersetzers: prosodische Gründe ließen 'robin' = Rotkehlchen (Erithacus rubecula) zum 'Vöglein ' werden.


  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2011 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)

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

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2011-02-05
Line count: 7
Word count: 42