by William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850)

But that night when on my bed I lay
Language: English 
Available translation(s): CAT FRE
But that night
When on my bed I lay, I was most mov'd
And felt most deeply in what world I was;
With unextinguish'd taper I kept watch,
Reading at intervals; the fear gone by
Press'd on me almost like a fear to come;
I thought of those September Massacres,
Divided from me by a little month,
And felt and touch'd them, a substantial dread:
The rest was conjured up from tragic fictions,
And mournful Calendars of true history,
Remembrances and dim admonishments.
"The horse is taught his manage, and the wind
Of heaven wheels round and treads in his own steps,
Year follows year, the tide returns again,
Day follows day, all things have second birth;
The earthquake is not satisfied all at once."
And in such way I wrought upon myself,
Until I seem'd to hear a voice that cried
To the whole City, "Sleep no more."


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

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Però aquella nit quan jeia al meu llit", 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: 20
Word count: 149