Translation by Franz Theremin (1780 - 1846)

Thou whose spell can raise the dead
Language: English 
Thou whose spell can raise the dead, 
Bid the prophet's form appear. 
'Samuel, raise thy buried head! 
King, behold the phantom seer!' 
Earth yawn'd; he stood the centre of a cloud: 
Light changed its hue, retiring from his shroud. 
Death stood all glassy in his fixed eye: 
His hand was wither'd, and his veins were dry; 
His foot, in bony whiteness, glitter'd there, 
Shrunken and sinewless, and ghastly bare; 
From lips that moved not and unbreathing frame, 
Like cavern'd winds, the hollow acccents came. 
Saul saw, and fell to earth, as falls the oak, 
At once, and blasted by the thunderstroke. 

'Why is my sleep disquieted? 
Who is he that calls the dead? 
Is it thou, O King? Behold, 
bloodless are these limbs, and cold: 
Such are mine; and such shall be 
Thine to-morrow, when with me: 
Ere the coming day is done, 
Such shalt thou be, such thy son. 
Fare thee well, but for a day, 
Then we mix our mouldering clay.
Thou, thy race, lie pale and low, 
Pierced by shafts of many a bow;  
And the falchion by thy side 
To thy heart thy hand shall guide: 
Crownless, breathless, headless fall, 
Son and sire, the house of Saul!'

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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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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2003-11-13
Line count: 30
Word count: 201

Saul und Samuel
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
"Du, deren Kunst die Toten ruft,
Laß des Propheten Geist mich sehen!"
"Steig', Samuel, aus deiner Gruft!
Du siehst ihn, König, vor dir stehen."
Die Erde gähnt; von Finsternis umwallt,
Wovor das Licht entflieht, steht die Gestalt.
Aus seinen Augen starrt der Tod heraus;
Die Hand, die Adern, Moder ist's und Graus;
Sein Fuß, wie ausgegrabenes Gebein,
Nackt, sehnenlos, strahlt einen bleichen Schein,
Der Laut von seinem unbewegten Mund
Heult, wie der Wind tief in der höhlen Schlund.
Saul sieht's und fällt; so wie die Eiche fällt 
Auf einmal, von dem Donnerkeil zerschellt. 

"Warum wird mein Schlaf gestört?
Wessen Ruf hab' ich gehört?
Deinen, König? blutlos, kalt
Siehst du meine Geistgestalt:
Wie du mich erblickst mit Grau'n,
Bist du morgen selbst zu schaun;
[So bist du, so ist dein Sohn,
Eh der nächste Tag entflohn.]1
[Leb' wohl; nur für]2 einen Tag,
Dann liegst du, da wo ich lag."
Du alsdann und dein Geschlecht
Seid gefallen im Gefecht,
Und das Schwert hat deine Hand
Gegen deine Brust gewandt.
Kronlos, leblos stürzt hinab
Saul, sein Sohn, sein Haus, ins Grab.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Loewe.
2 Loewe: "Fahre wohl! noch"

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)


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2003-11-13
Line count: 30
Word count: 178