Translation by Franz Theremin (1780 - 1846)

A spirit pass'd before me
Language: English  after the Latin 
A spirit pass'd before me: I beheld 
The face of immortality unveil'd -- 
Deep sleep came down on every eye save mine -- 
And there it stood, -- all formless -- but divine; 
Along my bones the creeping flesh did quake; 
And as my damp hair stiffen'd, thus it spake: 

'Is man more just that God? Is man more pure 
Than he who deems even Seraphs insecure? 
Creatures of clay -- vain dwellers in the dust! 
The moth survives you, and are ye more just? 
Things of day! you wither ere the night, 
Heedless and blind to Wisdom's wasted light!'

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2003-11-13
Line count: 12
Word count: 95

An mir vorüber ging ein Geist; das Bild
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
An mir vorüber ging ein Geist; das Bild
  Der Ewigkeit erschien mir unverhüllt.
Schlaf fiel auf jedes Aug, nur meines nicht;
  [Es stand formlos]1, doch göttlich das Gesicht.
Das Haar auf meinem Haupte stieg empor,
  Mein Fleisch erbebte; und so klangs dem Ohr:

Wie mag der Mensch gerechter sein denn Gott,
  Denn Er, deß Tadel selbst dem Seraph droht?
Was bist du mehr, Geschlecht aus Ton und Staub,
  Als jener Wurm, dem du einst wirst zum Raub?
Du währst vom Morgen bis der Abend graut;
  Du stirbst -- und hast die Wahrheit nicht geschaut.

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1 Loewe: "Und formlos stand"

Authorship

Based onBased 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: 12
Word count: 93