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Whispers of heavenly death murmur'd I...

Language: English

Whispers of heavenly death murmur'd I hear,
Labial gossip of night, sibilant chorals,
Footsteps gently ascending, mystical breezes wafted soft and low,
Ripples of unseen rivers, tides of a current flowing, forever flowing,
(Or is it the plashing of tears? the measureless waters of human tears?)

I see, just see skyward, great cloud-masses,
Mournfully slowly they roll, silently swelling and mixing,
With at times a half-dimm'd sadden'd far-off star,
Appearing and disappearing.

(Some parturition rather, some solemn immortal birth;
On the frontiers to eyes impenetrable,
Some soul is passing over.)

Translation(s): CAT FRE FRE

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About the headline (FAQ)

Submitted by Ahmed E. Ismail


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

Settings in other languages or adaptations:

  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by Léon Bazalgette CAT by Eugene MacDonald Bonner.

Other available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2004-06-27.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:08
Line count: 12
Word count: 90

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J'entends des chuchotements d'une mort...

Language: French (Français) after the English

J'entends des chuchotements d'une mort céleste murmurés,
Bavardage labial de la nuit, chorals sifflants,
Des pas qui montent doucement, brises mystiques qui flottent douces et basses,
Rides de rivières invisibles, flux d'un courant qui coule, qui coule éternellement,
(Ou est-ce le clapotis de larmes ? les eaux sans bornes des larmes humaines ?)

Je vois, je vois juste dans le ciel, de grandes masses de nuages,
Lugubrement ils déferlent lentement, en silence grossissant et se mêlant,
Avec par instants une étoile lointaine attristée, à moitié effacée,
Apparaissant et disparaissant.

(Plutôt un enfantement, une naissance solennelle et immortelle ;
Sur les frontières invisibles à l'œil,
Une âme s'éteint.)

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About the headline (FAQ)


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2015 by Guy Laffaille, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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Based on
  • a text in English by Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892), "Whispers of Heavenly Death", appears in Leaves of Grass CAT
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Ernst Bacon, Eugene MacDonald Bonner, Leonard Kastle, Raymond Luedeke, Ralph Vaughan Williams, David McKinley Williams. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2015-07-27.
Last modified: 2015-07-27 16:11:49
Line count: 12
Word count: 107