by Walter De la Mare (1873 - 1956)

Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER
Dark is the night,
The fire burns faint and low,
Hours -- days -- years,
Into grey ashes go;
I strive to read,
But sombre is the glow. 

Thumbed are the pages,
And the print is small;
Mocking the winds
That from the darkness call;
Feeble the fire that lends
Its light withal. 

O ghost, draw nearer;
Let thy shadowy hair
Blot out the pages
That we cannot share;
Be ours the one last leaf
By Fate left bare! 

Let's Finis scrawl,
And then Life's book put by;
Turn each to each
In all simplicity:
Ere the last flame is gone
To warm us by.


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Veille", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "Wache", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]