by Alexander Pope (1688 - 1744)

The dying Christian to his Soul
Language: English 
Vital spark of heav'nly flame:
Quit, oh quit this mortal frame:
Trembling, hoping, ling'ring, flying,
Oh the pain, the bliss of dying!
Cease, fond Nature, cease thy strife,
And let me languish into life.

Hark! they whisper; Angels say,
Sister Spirit, come away.
What is this absorbs me quite?
Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirits, draws my breath?
Tell me, my Soul, can this be Death?

The world recedes; it disappears!
Heav'n opens on my eyes! my ears
With sounds seraphic ring:
Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
O Grave! where is thy Victory?
O Death! where is thy Sting?

Confirmed with The Works of Alexander Pope Esq., Volume I, containing his Juvenile Poems. London, printed for H.Lintot, J. and R.Tonson, and S.Draper, MDCCLII, pages 133-134.


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

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Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Johann Gottfried Herder (1744 - 1803) , no title, subtitle: "Popens sterbender Christ an seine Seele", first published 1774 CAT DUT FRE ; composed by Franz Peter Schubert.

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2003-11-07
Line count: 18
Word count: 105