Asleep (James Crawford)
- Editor: James Crawford (submitted 2020-01-02). Score information: A4, 6 pages, 111 kB Copyright: CC BY NC ND
- Edition notes:
First published: 2020
Description: Asleep is the fifth of a collection of seven songs based upon the poems of Wilfred Owen. It may serve as part of a Remembrance Day event, or a recital or competition.
Original text and translations
Under his helmet, up against his pack,
After so many days of work and waking,
Sleep took him by the brow and laid him back.
There, in the happy no time of his sleeping,
Death took him by the heart. There heaved a quaking
Of the aborted life within him leaping,
Then chest and sleepy arms once more fell slack.
And soon the slow, stray blood came creeping from
the intruding lead,like ants on track.
Whether his deeper sleep lie shaded by the shaking
Of great wings, and the thoughts that hung the stars,
High-pillowed on calm pillows of God's making,
Above these clouds, these rains, these sleets of lead,
And these winds' scimitars,
- Or whether yet his thin and sodden head
Confuses more and more with the low mould,
His hair being one with the grey grass
Of finished fields, and wire-scrags rusty-old,
Who knows? Who hopes? Who troubles? Let it pass!
He sleeps. He sleeps less tremulous, less cold,
Than we who wake, and waking say Alas!