by Alexander Pope (1688 - 1744)
Translation by Johann Gottfried Herder (1744 - 1803)

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.


Authorship

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

    [ None yet in the database ]

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]

Text added to the website: 2003-11-07 00:00:00
Last modified: 2017-05-02 02:09:38
Line count: 18
Word count: 105

Lebensfunke, vom Himmel entglüht
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT FRE
Lebensfunke, vom Himmel [entglüht]1,
Der sich loszuwinden müht!
[Zitternd-kühn]2, vor Sehnen leidend,
Gern und doch mit Schmerzen scheidend -
End' o end' den Kampf, Natur!
Sanft ins Leben
Aufwärts schweben,
Sanft hinschwinden laß mich nur.

Horch!, mir lispeln Geister zu:
"Schwester-Seele, komm zur Ruh!"
Ziehet was mich sanft von hinnen?
Was ists, [das]3 mir meine [Sinnen]4,
Mir den Hauch zu rauben droht?
Seele sprich, ist das der Tod?

Die Welt entweicht! Sie ist nicht mehr!
[Harmonieen]5 um mich her!
Ich [schwimm']6 im Morgenroth -
Leiht, o leiht mir eure Schwingen,
Ihr [Brüder-Geister]7! helft mir singen:  
"O Grab, wo ist dein Sieg? wo ist dein Pfeil, o Tod?"

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Zerstreute Blätter von J.G.Herder. Zweite Sammlung. Gotha 1786, bey Carl Wilhelm Ertinger, pages 375-376.

The poem is part of Herder's essay "Wie die Alten den Tod gebildet: ein Nachtrag zu Leßings Abhandlung desselben Inhalts".

1 Herder (1796 edition), and Schubert (Neue Gesamtausgabe): "erglüht"
2 Schubert: "Zitternd, kühn"
3 Schubert: "was"
4 Schubert: "Sinne"
5 Schubert: "Engel-Einklang"
6 Schubert: "schweb'"
7 Schubert: "Brüder, Geister"

Authorship

Based on

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) , "Transfiguració", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Verheerlijking: De stervende christen tot zijn ziel", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Le Christ mourant à son âme", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


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

Text added to the website: 2003-11-07 00:00:00
Last modified: 2019-06-16 16:44:04
Line count: 20
Word count: 107