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Gaunt in gloom The pale stars their torches Enshrouded wave. Ghostfires from heaven's far verges faint illume Arches on soaring arches, Night's sindark nave. Seraphim The lost hosts awaken To service till In moonless gloom each lapses, muted, dim Raised when she has and shaken Her thurible. And long and loud To night's nave upsoaring A starknell tolls As the bleak incense surges, cloud on cloud, Voidward from the adoring Waste of souls.
- by James Joyce (1882 - 1941), "Nightpiece", appears in Pomes Penyeach, no. 9 [author's text not yet checked 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 George Antheil (1900 - 1959), "Nightpiece", published 1933 [ voice and piano ], from The Joyce Book, no. 9 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by David Del Tredici (b. 1937), "Nightpiece", published 1966 [ soprano, chimes, horn and orchestra ], from Syzygy, no. 2, New York : Boosey & Hawkes [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Geert van Keulen (b. 1943), "Nightpiece", 1943, published 1984, rev. 1984 [ soprano, flute (alto flute and piccolo), clarinet (bass clarinet), violin, contrabass, harp, vibraphone (tam-tam), mandolin, and guitar ], from Trieste, or Three Poems by James Joyce, no. 3, Amsterdam, Donemus [sung text not yet checked]
- by Michael Murray , "Nightpiece", 2004 [ soprano, horn, and piano ], from The Wild Winds Weep, no. 2 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Aribert Reimann (b. 1936), "Nightpiece", 1992 [ soprano and piano ], confirmed with a CD booklet [sung text checked 1 time]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Nocturne", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Nachtstück", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 18
Word count: 73
Décharnées dans l'obscurité Les pâles étoiles ensevelies dans un linceul, Agitent leurs torches. Des feux fantomatiques des bords au loin du ciel illuminent faiblement, Arches sur arches qui s'élancent, La nef de la nuit. Séraphins, Les armées perdues s'éveillent Pour servir jusqu'à ce que Dans l'obscurité sans lune chacun tombe muet, faible, Quand elle a levé et secoué Son encensoir. Et loin et fort, S'élanceant vers la nef de la nuit Sonne un glas d'étoiles Tandis que l'encens morne monte, nuage sur nuage, Vers le vide de l'inutile Adoration des âmes.
- Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2009 by Guy Laffaille, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
- a text in English by James Joyce (1882 - 1941), "Nightpiece", appears in Pomes Penyeach, no. 9
This text was added to the website: 2009-11-09
Line count: 18
Word count: 91