Often beneath the wave, wide from this ledge The dice of drowned men’s bones he saw bequeath An embassy. Their numbers as he watched, Beat on the dusty shore and were obscured. And wrecks passed without sound of bells, The calyx of death’s bounty giving back A scattered chapter, livid hieroglyph, The portent wound in corridors of shells. Then in the circuit calm of one vast coil, Its lashings charmed and malice reconciled, Frosted eyes there were that lifted altars; And silent answers crept across the stars. Compass, quadrant and sextant contrive No farther tides ... High in the azure steeps Monody shall not wake the mariner. This fabulous shadow only the sea keeps.
- by (Harold) Hart Crane (1899 - 1932), "At Melville’s Tomb" [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 Stanley Grill (b. 1953), "At Melville’s Tomb", copyright © 2010 [tenor and piano], from 4 Songs to Poems by Hart Crane, no. 1, confirmed with an online score [ sung text verified 1 time]
Researcher for this text: Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor]
This text was added to the website: 2018-04-30
Line count: 16
Word count: 114