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She sleeps on soft, last breaths; but no ghost looms Out of the stillness of her palace wall, Her wall of boys on boys and dooms on dooms. She dreams of golden gardens and sweet glooms, Not marvelling why her roses never fall Nor what red mouths were torn to make their blooms. The shades keep down which well might roam her hall. Quiet their blood lies in her crimson rooms And she is not afraid of their footfall. They move not from her tapestries, their pall, Nor pace her terraces, their hecatombs, Lest aught she be disturbed, or grieved at all.
About the headline (FAQ)
- by Wilfred Owen (1893 - 1918), "The kind ghosts", from Poems, first published 1931 [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by (Edward) Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976), "She sleeps on soft, last breaths", op. 60 no. 6, published 1959 [tenor, string orchestra, English horn obbligato], from Nocturne for tenor solo, seven obligato instruments and string orchestra, no. 6. [text verified 1 time]
Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (Jean-Pierre Granger)
- CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , title 1: "Ella dorm amb suaus, incessants respirs", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
Ella dorm amb suaus, incessants respirs; però cap espectre apareix des de la quietud del mur del seu palau, la seva muralla feta de nens sobre nens i malastres sobre malastres. Ella somia jardins daurats i dolces tristors, sense estranyar-se per què les seves roses mai es marceixen, ni de quines boques vermelles foren esquinçades per fer llurs poncelles. Les ombres retenen el que bé podria rondejar per la seva sala. Silent, llur sang resta a les seves cambres carmesines i ella no té por de llurs passos. Ells no es mouen dels seus tapissos, llurs mortalles, ni passegen per les seves terrasses, llurs hecatombes, per, de cap manera, pertorbar-la o afligir-la.
- Translation from English to Catalan (Català) copyright © 2016 by Salvador Pila, (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.
- a text in English by Wilfred Owen (1893 - 1918), "The kind ghosts", from Poems, first published 1931