Two Ballads for two voices and piano

Song Cycle by (Edward) Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976)

Word count: 220

1. Mother Comfort [sung text checked 1 time]

Dear, shall we talk or will that cloud the sky?
Will you be Mother Comfort or shall I?
If I should love him where would our lives be?
And if you turn him out at last, then friendship pity me!
My longing, like my heart, beats to and fro.
Oh that a single life could be both Yes and No.
Ashamed to grant and frightened to refuse – 
Pity has chosen: Power has still to choose.
But darling, when that stretched out will is tired
Surely your timid prettiness longs to be overpowered?
Sure gossips have this sweet facility 
To tell transparent lies and, without pain, to cry.
Will you be Mother Comfort or shall I?

Authorship

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Elaine Marie Ortiz-Arandes) , "Mutter Trost", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Underneath the abject willow [sung text not yet checked]

Underneath an abject willow
 [ ... ]

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Elaine Marie Ortiz-Arandes) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

This text may be copyright, so we will not display it until we obtain permission to do so or discover it is public-domain.
View original text (without footnotes)
1 Britten:
Brooks beneath the thin ice flowing,
To their ocean go.
Coldest love will warm  to action