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The LiederNet Archive

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Sonnets for Baritone and Orchestra

Word count: 343

Song Cycle by Vivian Fine (1913 - 2000)

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1. To one who has been long in city pent [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): ITA

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Per chi molto tempo restò nelle città rinchiuso", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


To one who has been long in city pent,
 'Tis very sweet to look into the fair
 And open face of heaven, -- to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.
Who is more happy, when, with hearts content,
 Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair
 Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair
And gentle tale of love and languishment?
Returning home at evening, with an ear
 Catching the notes of Philomel, -- an eye
Watching the sailing cloudlet's bright career,
 He mourns that day so soon has glided by:
E'en like the passage of an angel's tear
 That falls through the clear ether silently.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. On the sea [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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It keeps eternal whisperings around 
    Desolate shores, and with its mighty swell 
    Gluts twice ten thousand Caverns, till the spell 
Of Hecate leaves them their old shadowy sound. 
Often 'tis in such gentle temper found, 
    That scarcely will the very smallest shell 
    Be moved for days from where it sometime fell. 
When last the winds of Heaven were unbound. 
Oh, ye! who have your eyeballs vexed and tired, 
    Feast them upon the wideness of the Sea; 
        Oh ye! whose ears are dinned with uproar rude, 
    Or fed too much with cloying melody--- 
        Sit ye near some old Cavern's Mouth and brood, 
Until ye start, as if the sea nymphs quired!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. To a cat [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Cat! who hast pass'd thy grand cliacteric, 
How many mice and rats hast in thy days 
Destroy'd? - How many tit bits stolen? Gaze 
With those bright languid segments green, and prick 
Those velvet ears - but pr'ythee do not stick 
Thy latent talons in me - and upraise 
Thy gentle mew - and tell me all thy frays 
Of fish and mice, and rats and tender chick. 
Nay, look not down, nor lick thy dainty wrists - 
For all the wheezy asthma, - and for all 
Thy tail's tip is nick'd off - and though the fists 
Of many a maid have given thee many a mail, 
Still is that fur as soft as when the lists 
In youth thou enter'dst on glass bottled wall. 


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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