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In the third-class seat sat the journeying boy, And the roof-lamp's oily flame Played down on his listless form and face, Bewrapt past knowing to what he was going, Or whence he came. In the band of his hat the journeying boy Had a ticket stuck; and a string Around his neck bore the key of his box, That twinkled gleams of the lamp's sad beams Like a living thing. What past can be yours, O journeying boy Towards a world unknown, Who calmly, as if incurious quite On all at stake, can undertake This plunge alone? Knows your soul a sphere, O journeying boy, Our rude realms far above, Whence with spacious vision you mark and mete This region of sin that you find you in, But are not of?
- by Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928), "Midnight on the Great Western", appears in Moments of Vision and Miscellaneous Verses, 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 (Edward) Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976), "Midnight on the Great Western", op. 52 no. 2 (1953), published 1954 [ high voice and piano ], from Winter words, no. 2 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Derek Holman (b. 1931), "Midnight on the Great Western", first performed 2011 [ high voice and harp ], from Three Songs for High Voice and Harp, no. 1 [sung text checked 1 time]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (Christopher Park) , "À minuit, sur le Great Western", copyright © 2022, (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: 20
Word count: 131
Un jeune voyageur était assis en troisième classe Et la flamme huileuse de la lampe du plafond Jouait sur sa forme et son visage apathique, Enveloppé par le fait de ne pas savoir où il allait, Ni d'où il venait. Dans le bandeau de son chapeau, le garçon voyageur avait un billet fiché, et sur une ficelle Autour de son cou, la clé de son coffre, qui scintillait aux tristes rayons de la lampe. comme une chose vivante. Quel passé peut être le tien, ô garçon voyageur ? Vers un monde inconnu, Qui calmement, comme s’il était indifférent À tout ce qui est en jeu, peut entreprendre ce plongeon seul ? Ton âme connait-elle une sphère, ô garçon voyageur, Bien au-dessus de nos rudes royaumes, D'où, d’un vaste regard, tu marques et mesures Ce monde de péché où tu te trouves, mais dont tu n'es pas issu ?
- Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2022 by Christopher Park, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
- a text in English by Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928), "Midnight on the Great Western", appears in Moments of Vision and Miscellaneous Verses, first published 1917
This text was added to the website: 2022-06-26
Line count: 20
Word count: 148