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by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 - 1822)

The keen stars were twinkling
Language: English 
 The keen stars were twinkling
 And the fair moon was rising among them,
           Dear Jane:
      The [guitar]1 was tinkling,
 But the notes were not [sweet]2 till you [sung]3 them
      As the moon's soft splendor
 O'er the faint cold starlight of heaven
           Is thrown,
      So your voice most tender
 To the strings without soul had then given
           Its own.

      The stars will awaken,
 Though the moon sleep a full hour later,
      No leaf will be shaken
 Whilst the dews of your melody scatter
      Though the sound overpowers,
 Sing again, with your dear voice revealing
           A tone
      Of some world far from ours
 Where music and moonlight and feeling
           Are one.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Note: The Trelawny manuscript is headed "To Jane"
1 Faith: "harp"
2 Faith: "clear"
3 Faith: "sang"


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

Set in a modified version by Juriaan Andriessen, Granville Ransome Bantock, Sir, Amy Marcy Cheney Beach, Gilbert Richard Betjemann, Herman Brearly, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Edward Elgar, Sir.

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by George John Bennett.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 113