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

A spirit pass'd before me

Language: English after the Latin

A spirit pass'd before me: I beheld 
The face of immortality unveil'd -- 
Deep sleep came down on every eye save mine -- 
And there it stood, -- all formless -- but divine; 
Along my bones the creeping flesh did quake; 
And as my damp hair stiffen'd, thus it spake: 

'Is man more just that God? Is man more pure 
Than he who deems even Seraphs insecure? 
Creatures of clay -- vain dwellers in the dust! 
The moth survives you, and are ye more just? 
Things of day! you wither ere the night, 
Heedless and blind to Wisdom's wasted light!'

Translation(s): FRE GER

List of language codes

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


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)

Settings in other languages or adaptations:

Other available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

Text added to the website: 2003-11-13.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:59
Line count: 12
Word count: 95

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

Un esprit a passé devant moi

Language: French (Français) after the English

Un esprit a passé devant moi: j'ai vu
face à face l'immortalité dévoilée; -- 
un profond sommeil ferma tous les yeux, hormis les miens: -- 
il m'apparut -- l'esprit immatériel, -- mais divin:
la chair qui entoure mes os frissonna d'une sainte terreur;
mes cheveux inondés de sueur se dressèrent sur ma tête, et voici ce que j'entendis:

«L'homme est-il plus juste que Dieu ? L'homme est-il plus pur
que celui qui ne croit pas les séraphins eux-mêmes exempts de péril ?
Créatures d'argile ! -- êtres vains qui habitez dans la poussière !
les vers vous survivent; -- êtes-vous donc plus justes !
Choses d'un jour, vous vous flétrissez avant la nuit !
Race insouciante et aveugle, à laquelle la sagesse prodigue en vain sa lumière !»

Submitted by Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor]


Based on
  • a text in English by George Gordon Noel Byron, Lord Byron (1788 - 1824), "A spirit pass'd before me", appears in Hebrew Melodies, no. 28, first published 1815 [an adaptation] ENG GER
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Milton Barnes, William Richard Bexfield, Harry Collings Deacon, Arthur H. Gutman, Clarence S. Hill, Isaac Nathan, Howard D. Salins. Go to the text.

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: 12
Word count: 122