The LiederNet Archive
WARNING. Not all the material on this website is in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission.
For more information, contact us at the following address:
licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net

Darest thou now O Soul

Language: English

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

List of language codes

W. Schuman sets stanzas 1-3

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

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)

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

Gentle Reminder
This website began in 1995 as a personal project, and I have been working on it full-time without a salary since 2008. Our research has never had any government or institutional funding, so if you found the information here useful, please consider making a donation. Your gift is greatly appreciated.
     - 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’.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The material directly above is protected by copyright and appears here by special permission. If you wish to copy it and distribute it, you must obtain permission or you will be breaking the law. Once you have permission, you must give credit to the author and display the copyright symbol ©. Copyright infringement is a criminal offense under international law.

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)>

    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:
    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on
  • 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