At last, to be identified

Song Cycle by Richard Pearson Thomas (b. 1957)

Word count: 392

1. Doubt me! My dim companion [sung text not yet checked]

Doubt Me! My Dim Companion!
Why, God, would be content
With but a fraction of the Life-
Poured thee, without a stint-
The whole of me-forever-
What more the Woman can,
Say quick, that I may dower thee
With last Delight I own!

It cannot be my Spirit-
For that was thine, before-
I ceded all of Dust I knew-
What Opulence the more
Had I-a freckled Maiden,
Whose farthest of Degree,
Was-that she might-
Some distant Heaven,
Dwell timidly, with thee!

Sift her, from Brow to Barefoot!
Strain till your last Surmise-
Drop, like a Tapestry, away,
Before the Fire's Eyes-
Winnow her finest fondness-
But hallow just the snow
Intact, in Everlasting flake-
Oh, Caviler, for you!

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. What if I say I shall not wait [sung text not yet checked]

What if I say I shall not wait?
What if I burst the fleshly gate
And pass, escaped, to thee?
What if I file this mortal off,

See where it hurt me, - that's enough, -
And wade in liberty?
They cannot take us any more, -
Dungeons may call, and guns implore;

Unmeaning now, to me,
As laughter was an hour ago,
Or laces, or a travelling show,
Or who died yesterday!

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3. Wild nights! Wild nights! [sung text not yet checked]

Wild nights! -- Wild nights!
Were I with thee,
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile -- the [Wind]1 --
To a heart in port, --
Done with the Compass, --
Done with the Chart!

Rowing in Eden --
Ah! the Sea!
Might I but moor -- Tonight --
In thee!

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CHI Chinese (中文) (Mei Foong Ang) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , "Sturmnacht! - Sturmnacht!", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Notti selvagge! Notti di tempesta!", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 note: sometimes "Winds". Hoiby, Leisner, Rusche, A. Thomas: "Winds"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. I never saw a moor [sung text checked 1 time]

I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea;
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.

I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given.

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Mai vidi una brughiera", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. There's a certain slant of light [sung text not yet checked]

There's a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons,
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.

Heavenly hurt it gives us;
We can find no scar,
But internal difference
Where the meanings are.

None may teach it anything,
'T is the seal, despair, -
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air.

When it comes, the landscape listens,
Shadows hold their breath;
When it goes, 't is like the distance
On the look of death.

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , no title, copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. At last to be identified! [sung text not yet checked]

At last -- to be identified!
At last -- the Lamps upon1 [thy]2 side --
The rest of Life -- to see --

Past Midnight -- past the Morning Star --
Past Sunrise -- Ah, what Leagues there [are]2
Between our feet -- and Day!

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 spelled "opon" in the manuscript versions.
2 in one of the two manuscript variants, Dickinson had "your"
3 in one of the two manuscript variants, Dickinson had "were".

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]