Darest thou now O Soul
Darest thou now O Soul,
Walk out with me toward the Unknown Region,
Where neither ground is for the feet
nor any path to follow?
No map there, nor guide,
Nor voice sounding, nor touch of human hand,
Nor face with blooming flesh,
nor lips, nor eyes, are in that land.
I know it not O Soul;
Nor dost thou -- all is a blank before us;
All waits, undream'd of, in that region,
[that inaccessible land]1.
Till when the [ties loosen]2,
All but the ties eternal, Time and Space,
Nor darkness, gravitation, sense,
nor any bounds, [bound]3 us.
Then we burst forth -- we float,
In Time and Space, O Soul, prepared for them;
Equal, equipt at last, --
(O joy! O fruit of all!) them to fulfil, O Soul.
Translation(s): FRE FRE FRE GER
W. Schuman sets stanzas 1-3
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Note: the indented lines have been broken off from the preceding lines so that parallel translations will be easier to see. This poem has five stanzas of three lines each.
1 W. Schuman: "the inaccessible land,/ The unknown region."
2 Bacon: "tie is loosened"
3 Bacon: "bounding"
Submitted by Ted Perry
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Samuel Hans Adler (b. 1928), "Dearest thou now o Soul", published 1977 [medium voice, string quartet], from Sixth String Quartet (A Whitman Serenade), no. 1, New York, Carl Fischer [ sung text not verified ]
- by Ernst Bacon (1898 - 1990), "Darest thou now O soul", alternate title: "Whispers of heavenly death", 1930, published 1930 [voice and piano], from Songs at Parting: A Selection of Walt Whitman's Poems, no. 3. [ sung text verified 1 time]
- by Eugene MacDonald Bonner (1889 - 1983), "Darest thou now, O soul", published 1925 [voice and piano or orchestra], from Whispers of Heavenly Death, also set in French (Français) [ sung text not verified ]
- by George Whitefield Chadwick (1854 - 1931), "Darest thou now, O soul", published 1910 [TTBB quartet a cappella], from Three Partsongs, no. 1. [ sung text not verified ]
- by Roland Diggle (1885 - 1954), "Darest thou now O soul", published 1948. [mixed chorus, piano] [ sung text not verified ]
- by Isadore Freed (1900 - 1960), "Darest thou now O soul", published 1928. [SSA chorus, mezzo-soprano, piano] [ sung text not verified ]
- by Philip Glass (b. 1937), "Darest thou now, O soul" [SATB chorus a cappella] [ sung text not verified ]
- by Michael Hennagin (1936 - 1993), "Darest thou now O Soul", published 1968 [SSA chorus, piano, flute, and percussion], from The Unknown [ sung text not verified ]
- by Michael Hennagin (1936 - 1993), "Darest thou now, O soul" [SATB chorus, 3 baritones, 4 tenors, piano, flute, percussion, electronic tape, 2 slide projectors, 3 trumpets, timpani] [ sung text not verified ]
- by Hans Werner Henze (1926 - 2012), "Whispers from heavenly death" [ sung text verified 1 time]
- by Bruno Siegfried Huhn (1871 - 1950), "The Unknown", published 1918. [three-part female voices, piano, organ] [ sung text not verified ]
- by Normand Lockwood (b. 1906), "Darest thou now, O soul", 1959. [SSAATTBB chorus, piano] [ sung text not verified ]
- by William Howard Schuman (1910 - 1992), "The Unknown Region", published 1959, stanzas 1-3 [SATB chorus a cappella], from Carols of Death, no. 2. [ sung text verified 1 time]
- by Charles Villiers Stanford, Sir (1852 - 1924), "To the Soul", op. 97 no. 4 (1906), published 1908 [voice, piano], from Six Songs of Faith, no. 4. [ sung text verified 1 time]
- by (Olav) Fartein Valen (1887 - 1952), "Darest thou now O soul", 1928. [ sung text verified 1 time]
- by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 - 1958), "Toward the Unknown Region", published 1907. [8-part chorus, orchestra] [ sung text not verified ]
- by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 - 1958), "Darest thou now, O soul", published 1925. [unison chorus, piano] [ sung text not verified ]
- by Thomas Carl Whitmer (1873 - 1959), "Darest thou now, O soul", published 1928 [vocal quartet, chorus, and piano or orchestra], from Choral Rhapsody [ sung text not verified ]
- by David McKinley Williams (1887 - 1978), "Darest thou now, O soul", published 1926 [soprano, chorus, and organ or orchestra], anthem [ sung text not verified ]
- by Charles Wood (1866 - 1926), "Darest thou now O Soul", published 1927 [low voice, piano], from Ten Songs for Low Voice [ sung text not verified ]
Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:
- Also set in French (Français), a translation by Léon Bazalgette (1873 - 1928) GER by Eugene MacDonald Bonner.
- Also set in French (Français), a translation by Léon Bazalgette (1873 - 1928) GER by Eva Ruth Spalding.
Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2018-04-20 14:08:53
Line count: 20
Word count: 128
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- Emily Ezust
Wagst du es nun, o Seel’
Language: German (Deutsch) after the English
Wagst du es nun, o Seel’,
mit mir zu gehn in Neues, Unbekanntes,
wo weder Stand ist für den Fuß,
noch Wege sind, zu wandern?
Nichts dort führt uns und weist,
niemand dort spricht, noch hält dich eine Hand,
und keine Wange blüht, kein Mund,
kein Blick in diesem Land.
Ach Seel’, ich weiß es nicht,
noch weißt es du - nur Leere vor uns liegt;
und Unerahntes uns erwartet -
im unerreichbaren Land.
Wenn wir entbunden sind
von allem außer Ew’gem - Zeit und Raum,
und unsre Sinne, Dunkel, Schwerkraft
binden uns nicht mehr,
dann geht’s hinaus - o Seel’
zu gleiten hin durch Raum und Zeit, bedacht,
gerüstet und bereit - (welch neue Lebensfreud!),
Neues zu tun, o Seel’.
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About the headline (FAQ)
- Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2018 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.
Bertram Kottmann. Contact:
<BKottmann (AT) t-online.de>
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- a text in English by Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892), "Darest thou now O Soul" FRE FRE FRE
- This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Samuel Hans Adler, Ernst Bacon, Eugene MacDonald Bonner, George Whitefield Chadwick, Roland Diggle, Isadore Freed, Philip Glass, Michael Hennagin, Hans Werner Henze, Bruno Siegfried Huhn, Normand Lockwood, William Howard Schuman, Charles Villiers Stanford, Sir, Fartein Valen, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Thomas Carl Whitmer, David McKinley Williams, Charles Wood. Go to the text.
Text added to the website: 2018-04-20.
Last modified: 2018-04-20 14:09:54
Line count: 20
Word count: 121