by Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892)

That music always round me
Language: English 
That music always round me, unceasing, unbeginning -- 
  yet long untaught I did not hear;
But now the chorus I hear, and am elated;
A tenor, strong, ascending, with power and health, 
  with glad notes of day-break I hear,
A soprano, at intervals, sailing buoyantly over the tops of immense waves,
A transparent bass, shuddering lusciously under and through the universe,
The triumphant tutti -- the funeral wailings, with sweet flutes and violins --
   all these I fill myself with;
I hear not the volumes of sound merely -- I am moved by the exquisite meanings,
I listen to the different voices winding in and out, striving,
   contending with fiery vehemence to excel each other in emotion;
I do not think the performers know themselves --
  but now I think I begin to know them.

Confirmed with Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass. Philadelphia: David McKay, [c1900];, 1999.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]