The plain was grassy, wild and bare, Wide, wild, and open to the air, Which had built up everywhere An under-roof of doleful gray. With an inner voice the river ran, Adown it floated a dying swan, And loudly did lament. It was the middle of the day. Ever the weary wind went on, And took the reed-tops as it went. Some blue peaks in the distance rose, And white against the cold-white sky, Shone out their crowning snows. One willow over the river wept, And shook the wave as the wind did sigh; Above in the wind was the swallow, Chasing itself at its own wild will, And far thro' the marish green and still The tangled water-courses slept, Shot over with purple, and green, and yellow. The wild swan's death-hymn took the soul Of that waste place with joy Hidden in sorrow: at first to the ear The warble was low, and full and clear; And floating about the under-sky, Prevailing in weakness, the coronach stole Sometimes afar, and sometimes anear; But anon her awful jubilant voice, With a music strange and manifold, Flow'd forth on a carol free and bold; As when a mighty people rejoice With shawms, and with cymbals, and harps of gold, And the tumult of their acclaim is roll'd Thro' the open gates of the city afar, To the shepherd who watcheth the evening star. And the creeping mosses and clambering weeds, And the willow-branches hoar and dank, And the wavy swell of the soughing reeds, And the wave-worn horns of the echoing bank, And the silvery marish-flowers that throng The desolate creeks and pools among, Were flooded over with eddying song.
- by Alfred Tennyson, Lord (1809 - 1892), "The dying swan", appears in Poems, Chiefly Lyrical, first published 1830 [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 Bertram Luard-Selby (1853 - 1918), "The dying swan", published 1904 [soprano ad libitum, chorus, and orchestra], London, Novello [text not verified]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2011-05-05
Line count: 42
Word count: 279