Passing stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you, You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me, as of a dream,) I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you, All is recall'd as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured, You grew up with me, were a boy with me or a girl with me, I ate with you and slept with you, your body has become not yours only nor left my body mine only, You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass, you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return, I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone or wake at night alone, I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again, I am to see to it that I do not lose you.
- by Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892) [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 Jake Heggie (b. 1961), " To a Stranger", first performed 2018 [soprano, piano], from These Strangers, no. 4. [ sung text checked 1 time]
- by Noël Lee (1924 - 2013), "To a stranger", 1976 [soprano or tenor, clarinet, violoncello, percussion, and piano], from Songs of Calamus, no. 2. [ sung text checked 1 time]
- by Marc Marder (b. 1955), "To a stranger" [ sung text checked 1 time]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "À un étranger", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Ted Perry
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 15
Word count: 162