Because I Could Not Stop For Death

Composer Leslie Crabtree's "Because I Could Not Stop For Death" sets a poem of Emily Dickinson.
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Date: 2007Composer: Leslie CrabtreeText: Emily Dickinson

Print vitals & song text


Because I could not stop for Death
by Emily Dickinson

Because I could 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
At Recess – in the Ring –
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 – in the Ground –

Since then ’tis centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses’ heads
Were toward eternity.

The following stanzas were omitted in this setting of Dickinson’s poem:

[after the third stanza:]

Or rather – He passed Us –
The Dews drew quivering and chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown –
My Tippet – only Tulle –

[after the fourth stanza:]

We passed the school, where children played,
Their lessons scarcely done.
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.


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