Below the thunders of the upper deep; Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea, His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee About his shadowy sides: above him swell Huge sponges of millenial growth and height; And far away into the sickly light, From many a wondrous grot and secret cell Unnumber'd and enormous polypi Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green. There hath he lain for ages and will lie Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep, Until the latter fire shall heat the deep; Then once by [man]1 and angels to be seen, In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.
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1 Britten: "men"
- by Alfred Tennyson, Lord (1809 - 1892), "The Kraken", appears in Poems, Chiefly Lyrical, first published 1830 [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), "Below the thunders of the upper deep", op. 60 no. 2, published 1959 [tenor, orchestra, bassoon], from Nocturne for tenor solo, seven obligato instruments and string orchestra, no. 2, note: also set in German in a translation by Ludwig Landgraf [ sung text verified 1 time]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Sota el renou del raser de l’oceà", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- FRE French (Français) (Jean-Pierre Granger)
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 15
Word count: 108