I hear an army

"I hear an army" is the third song from Gardner Read's Nocturnal visions, op. 145 song cycle and sets James Joyce's poetry to music.

Date: 1985Composer: Gardner ReadText: James JoyceSong Collection: Nocturnal visions, op. 145

Print vitals & song text


“I hear an army”

by James Joyce


I hear an army charging upon the land,     

and the thunder of horses plunging, foam about their knees:     

Arrogant, in black armor, behind them stand,     

disdaining the reins, with fluttering whips, the charioteers.     

They cry unto the night their battle name;     

I moan in sleep when I hear afar their whirling laughter,     

They cleave the gloom of dreams, a blinding flame,    

clanging, clanging upon the heart as upon an anvil.     

They come shaking in triumph their long green hair;     

They come out of the sea and run shouting by the shore.     

My heart, have you no wisdom thus to despair?     

My love, my love, my love, why have you left me alone?  


Gardner Read: The Art of Song

(William Blake, Frances Frost, James Joyce, Gardner Read, Henry Russell, Rabindranath Tagore and Jean Starr Untermeyer)


Sheet Music

Nocturnal visions, op. 145

Composer(s): Gardner Read

Song(s): Night of all nights, The First jasmines, & I hear an army

Voice Type: Baritone

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