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.
- by Wilfred Owen (1893 - 1918), "Anthem for Doomed Youth", first published 1917 [author's text checked 1 time 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 Walter Gaze Cooper (b. 1895), "Anthem for Doomed Youth", op. 59 [speaker and orchestra], from Symphony no. 6 (A Symphony of War) [text not verified]
- by John Greer (b. 1954), "Anthem for Doomed Youth", from Sing me at midnight, no. 3. [text not verified]
- by Jason Rico (b. 1978), "Anthem for Doomed Youth" [voice, piano] [text verified 1 time]
This text (or a part of it) is used in a work
- by (Edward) Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976), "Requiem aeternam", op. 66 no. 1, published 1961 [soprano, tenor, baritone, satb chorus, boys' chorus, orchestra, chamber orchestra, organ], from the collection War Requiem, no. 1..
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