Tell me, tell me, smiling child, What the past is like to thee? "An autumn evening soft and mild With a wind that sighs mournfully." Tell me, what is the present hour? "A green and flowery spray Where a young bird sits gathering its power To mount and fly away." [Tell me, tell me,]1 what is the future, happy one? "A sea beneath a cloudless sun; a mighty, glorious, dazzling sea Stretching into infinity.
About the headline (FAQ)View original text (without footnotes)
Note: in the Fisk work, this is sung by Nelly (asking the questions), Cathy (first and last answers) and Hareton (second answer).
1 Fisk: "And"
- by Emily Brontë (1818 - 1848), appears in Poems by Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë Now for the First Time Printed, first published 1902 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Ronald A. Beckett , "Tell me, tell me, smiling child", 2015 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Terry Fisk , "Tell me, tell me, smiling child", published 2002 [ voice, piano ], from Wuthering Heights, no. 49 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by John Pierre Herman Joubert (1927 - 2019), "Oracle", published 1971 [ high voice and piano ], from Six Poems of Emily Brontë [sung text not yet checked]
- by John Mitchell (b. 1941), "Tell me, tell me, smiling child", op. 24 no. 3 (1977), from The Earth, the Wind, and the Sky, no. 3 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Robert Owens (1925 - 2017), "Tell me, tell me", op. 18 no. 2 [ low voice and piano ], from 3 Songs for a Deep Voice and Piano, no. 2 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Nick Peros , "Tell me, tell me, smiling child" [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Rudolph T. Werther (1896 - 1986), "Tell me, tell me", 1945-70 [ voice, piano ] [sung text not yet checked]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 74