In the third-class seat sat the journeying boy, And the roof-lamp's oily flame Played down on his listless form and face, Bewrapt past knowing to what he was going, Or whence he came. In the band of his hat the journeying boy Had a ticket stuck; and a string Around his neck bore the key of his box, That twinkled gleams of the lamp's sad beams Like a living thing. What past can be yours, O journeying boy Towards a world unknown, Who calmly, as if incurious quite On all at stake, can undertake This plunge alone? Knows your soul a sphere, O journeying boy, Our rude realms far above, Whence with spacious vision you mark and mete This region of sin that you find you in, But are not of?
- by Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928), "Midnight on the Great Western", appears in Moments of Vision and Miscellaneous Verses, first published 1917 [author's text checked 1 time 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), "Midnight on the Great Western", op. 52 no. 2 (1953), published 1954 [high voice and piano], from Winter words, no. 2. [text verified 1 time]
- by Derek Holman (b. 1931), "Midnight on the Great Western", first performed 2011 [high voice and harp], from Three Songs for High Voice and Harp, no. 1. [text verified 1 time]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2015-02-19 16:32:32
Line count: 20
Word count: 131