Thy words are sweeter than aught else but his Whose echoes they are; yet all love is sweet, Given or returned. Common as light is love, And its familiar voice wearies not ever. Like the wide heaven, the all-sustaining air, It makes the reptile equal to the God; They who inspire it most are fortunate, As I am now; but those who feel it most Are happier still, after long sufferings, As I shall soon become. My soul is an enchanted boat, Which, like a sleeping swan, doth float Upon the silver waves of thy sweet singing; And thine doth like an angel sit Beside a helm conducting it, Whilst all the winds with melody are ringing. It seems to float ever, forever, Upon that many-winding river, Between mountains, woods, abysses, A paradise of wildernesses! Till, like one in slumber bound, Borne to the ocean, I float down, around, Into a sea profound, of ever-spreading sound: Meanwhile thy spirit lifts its pinions In music's most serene dominions; Catching the winds that fan that happy heaven. And we sail on, away, afar, Without a course, without a star, But, by the instinct of sweet music driven; Till through Elysian garden islets By thee, most beautiful of pilots, Where never mortal pinnace glided, The boat of my desire is guided; Realms where the air we breathe is love, Which in the winds on the waves doth move, Harmonizing this earth with what we feel above.
D. Thomas sets stanza 2
J. Duke sets stanza 2
C. Stanford sets stanzas 2-3
About the headline (FAQ)
- by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 - 1822), appears in Prometheus Unbound, lines of Asia from Act II scene V, lines 39-48 and 72-97. [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 Woods Duke (1899 - 1984), "My soul is an enchanted boat", 1934, published 1953, copyright © 1953, stanza 2 [ voice and piano ], Southern/Texas [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Charles Villiers Stanford, Sir (1852 - 1924), "The Song of Asia", op. 125 (Four songs) no. 1, published 1911, stanzas 2-3 [ voice and piano ], Stainer & Bell [sung text checked 1 time]
- by David Evan Thomas (b. 1958), "Valediction", 1994, stanza 2 [ soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone and piano ], from Moonlight on a Midnight Stream, no. 10 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Maude Valérie White (1855 - 1937), "My soul is an enchanted boat", published 1883 [ voice and piano ], London: Chappell [sung text checked 1 time]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 36
Word count: 243