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Thou whose spell can raise the dead

Language: English

Thou whose spell can raise the dead, 
Bid the prophet's form appear. 
'Samuel, raise thy buried head! 
King, behold the phantom seer!' 
Earth yawn'd; he stood the centre of a cloud: 
Light changed its hue, retiring from his shroud. 
Death stood all glassy in his fixed eye: 
His hand was wither'd, and his veins were dry; 
His foot, in bony whiteness, glitter'd there, 
Shrunken and sinewless, and ghastly bare; 
From lips that moved not and unbreathing frame, 
Like cavern'd winds, the hollow acccents came. 
Saul saw, and fell to earth, as falls the oak, 
At once, and blasted by the thunderstroke. 

'Why is my sleep disquieted? 
Who is he that calls the dead? 
Is it thou, O King? Behold, 
bloodless are these limbs, and cold: 
Such are mine; and such shall be 
Thine to-morrow, when with me: 
Ere the coming day is done, 
Such shalt thou be, such thy son. 
Fare thee well, but for a day, 
Then we mix our mouldering clay.
Thou, thy race, lie pale and low, 
Pierced by shafts of many a bow;  
And the falchion by thy side 
To thy heart thy hand shall guide: 
Crownless, breathless, headless fall, 
Son and sire, the house of Saul!'

Translation(s): FRE GER

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Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


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

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Text added to the website: 2003-11-13.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:59
Line count: 30
Word count: 201

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Language: French (Français) after the English

Ô toi dont le magique pouvoir ressuscite les morts,
ordonne à l'ombre du prophète de paraître devant moi. -- 
«Samuel, lève ta tête ensevelie.
Roi, regarde le fantôme du Voyant !» -- 
La terre s'entr'ouvrit: le spectre apparut au centre d'un nuage,
mortuaire enveloppe qui fit pâlir la lumière du jour;
son œil glacé par la mort n'avait plus qu'un regard terne et fixe,
ses mains étaient flétries, et ses veines arides;
son pied, dépouillé de sang et de nerfs, offrait
à nu l'horrible blancheur de ses os;
de ses lèvres immobiles et de sa poitrine qui ne respirait plus,
sortit une voix sourde comme les vents renfermés dans un antre.
Saül le vit, et tomba par terre, comme tombe le chêne
frappé par un coup de tonnerre.

«Pourquoi trouble-t-on mon sommeil ?
Quel-est celui qui appelle les morts ?
Est-ce toi, roi d'Israël ? regarde
ces membres pâles et froids;
ce sont les miens: tels seront
les tiens demain, quand tu seras venu me rejoindre;
avant la fin du jour qui se lève, 
tel tu seras, tel sera ton fils.
Adieu, mais pour un jour !
puis nous mêlerons notre poussière.
Toi et ta race, tombez à terre, pâles et mourans,
sous les flèches parties de tant d'arcs ennemis !
à ton côté pend le glaive 
que ta main guidera vers ton cœur !
Sans couronne, sans haleine, sans vie,
tombent le fils et le père, tombe la maison de Saül !»

Submitted by Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor]


Based on

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

    [ None yet in the database ]

Text added to the website: 2012-01-15.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:45
Line count: 30
Word count: 241