by Wilfred Owen (1893 - 1918)

Anthem for Doomed Youth
Language: English 
Available translation(s): CAT FRE GER
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
  Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
  Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, --
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
  Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
  The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

In Britten's War Requiem, this is sung by the tenor.


Authorship

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


This text (or a part of it) is used in a work

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Walter A. Aue) , title 1: "Hymne für verlorene Jugend", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Jason Rico

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 109