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Dark is the night, The fire burns faint and low, Hours -- days -- years, Into grey ashes go; I strive to read, But sombre is the glow. Thumbed are the pages, And the print is small; Mocking the winds That from the darkness call; Feeble the fire that lends Its light withal. O ghost, draw nearer; Let thy shadowy hair Blot out the pages That we cannot share; Be ours the one last leaf By Fate left bare! Let's Finis scrawl, And then Life's book put by; Turn each to each In all simplicity: Ere the last flame is gone To warm us by.
Please note: this text, provided here for educational and research use, is in the public domain in Canada and the U.S., but it may still be copyright in other legal jurisdictions. The LiederNet Archive makes no guarantee that the above text is public domain in your country. Please consult your country's copyright statutes or a qualified IP attorney to verify whether a certain text is in the public domain in your country or if downloading or distributing a copy constitutes fair use. The LiederNet Archive assumes no legal responsibility or liability for the copyright compliance of third parties.
- by Walter De la Mare (1873 - 1956), "Vigil", appears in Motley and Other Poems, first published 1918 [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 (Edward) Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976), "Vigil", published 1969 [ voice and piano ], from Tit for tat, no. 4 [sung text checked 1 time]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Veille", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Wache", copyright © 2013, (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: 24
Word count: 103
Sombre est la nuit, Le feu brûle faiblement, doucement, Après des heures, des jours, des années, Se transforme en cendres grises ; Je m'efforce de lire, Mais la lueur est sombre. Les pages sont écornées Et c'est écrit petit ; Les vents moqueurs Appellent depuis l'obscurité ; Le feu faible qui accorde En outre sa lumière. Ô esprit, viens plus près ; Que ta chevelure vague Masque les pages Que nous ne pouvons pas partager ; Que notre dernière page soit Laissée vide par le destin ! Gribouillons Fin, Et puis mettons de côté le livre de la vie ; Tournons-nous l'un vers l'autre En toute simplicité : Avant que ne parte la dernière flamme Pour nous réchauffer.
- Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2011 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 Walter De la Mare (1873 - 1956), "Vigil", appears in Motley and Other Poems, first published 1918
This text was added to the website: 2011-06-29
Line count: 24
Word count: 118