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Gaunt in gloom The pale stars their torches Enshrouded wave. Ghostfires from heaven's far verges faint illume Arches on soaring arches, Night's sindark nave. Seraphim The lost hosts awaken To service till In moonless gloom each lapses, muted, dim Raised when she has and shaken Her thurible. And long and loud To night's nave upsoaring A starknell tolls As the bleak incense surges, cloud on cloud, Voidward from the adoring Waste of souls.
- by James Joyce (1882 - 1941), "Nightpiece", appears in Pomes Penyeach, no. 9 [author's text not yet checked 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 George Antheil (1900 - 1959), "Nightpiece", published 1933 [ voice and piano ], from The Joyce Book, no. 9 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by David Del Tredici (b. 1937), "Nightpiece", published 1966 [ soprano, chimes, horn and orchestra ], from Syzygy, no. 2, New York : Boosey & Hawkes [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Geert van Keulen (b. 1943), "Nightpiece", 1943, published 1984, rev. 1984 [ soprano, flute (alto flute and piccolo), clarinet (bass clarinet), violin, contrabass, harp, vibraphone (tam-tam), mandolin, and guitar ], from Trieste, or Three Poems by James Joyce, no. 3, Amsterdam, Donemus [sung text not yet checked]
- by Michael Murray , "Nightpiece", 2004 [ soprano, horn, and piano ], from The Wild Winds Weep, no. 2 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Aribert Reimann (b. 1936), "Nightpiece", 1992 [ soprano and piano ], confirmed with a CD booklet [sung text checked 1 time]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Nocturne", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Nachtstück", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 18
Word count: 73
Fahl aus der Finsternis flackern verblassender Sterne Fackeln von Wolken verhangen. Geisternde Lichter aus Himmels fernen Rändern erleuchten matt, Bögen auf Himmelsgewölben, das sündenschwarze Kirchenschiff der Nacht. Seraphim, die verlorenen Heerscharen erwachen zum Gottesdienst bis in mondloser Düsternis ein jeder leiser wird, schweigt, wenn sie erhoben hat das Weihrauchfass und es geschwenkt. Und lang und laut ins Kirchenschiff der Nacht aufstrebend erschallt die Sternenglocke, während der bleiche Weihrauch steigt, Wolke für Wolke, in die Leere aus der Nichtigkeit anbetender Seelen.
- Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2014 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) t-online.deIf you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:
- a text in English by James Joyce (1882 - 1941), "Nightpiece", appears in Pomes Penyeach, no. 9
This text was added to the website: 2014-09-15
Line count: 18
Word count: 80