Move him into the sun - Gently its touch awoke him once, At home, whispering of fields [unsown]1. Always it woke him, even in France, Until this morning, and this snow. If anything might rouse him now The kind old sun will know. Think how it wakes the seed - Woke, once, the clays of a cold star. Are limbs, so dear-achieved, are sides, Full-nerved - still warm - too hard to stir? Was it for this the clay grew tall? - O what made fatuous sunbeams toil To break [earth's]2 sleep at all?
About the headline (FAQ)View original text (without footnotes)
First published in Nation, 1918
1 in some editions, "half-sown"
2 Rands: "the earth's"
- by Wilfred Owen (1893 - 1918), "Futility" [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 John E. Cousins , "Futility", 1971 [baritone, flute, double piccolo, clarinet, bass clarinet, trombone, piano, and 3 percussion], from Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori [text not verified]
- by Elaine Hugh-Jones (b. 1927), "Futility" [tenor or baritone and piano or orchestra], from Songs of War, no. 1. [text not verified]
- by H. Emerson Myers (b. 1910), "In Memoriam" [text not verified]
- by Bernard Rands (b. 1935), "Futility", from Canti del sole, no. 8. [text verified 1 time]
- by Jason Rico (b. 1978), "Futility" [voice, piano] [text verified 1 time]
- by Hugo Weisgall (b. 1912), "Futility", 1944-6, published 1953, rev. 1965 [baritone and piano], from Soldier Songs for Baritone, no. 7. [text not verified]
This text (or a part of it) is used in a work
- by (Edward) Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976), "Dies irae", op. 66 no. 2, published 1961 [soprano, tenor, baritone, satb chorus, boys' chorus, orchestra, chamber orchestra, organ], from War Requiem, no. 2..
Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "Futilité", copyright © 2015, (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: 14
Word count: 94