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Celebrations: Cantata no. 3 [incomplete]

Word count: 836

Song Cycle by Vincent Persichetti (1915 - 1987)

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1. Stranger [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Stranger, if you passing, meet me,
And desire to speak to me,
Why should you not speak to me?
And why should I not speak to you?


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. I celebrate myself [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form'd from this soil, this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their
parents the same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.

Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. You who celebrate bygones [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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You who celebrate bygones!
Who have explored the outward, the surfaces of the races -- the life that has exhibited itself;
Who have treated of man as the creature of politics, aggregates, rulers and priests;
I, habitan of the Alleghanies, treating of him as he is in himself, in his own rights,
Pressing the pulse of the life that has seldom exhibited itself, (the great pride of man in himself;)
Chanter of Personality, outlining what is yet to be,
I project the history of the future.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. There is that in me [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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There is that in me -- I do not know what it is --
     but I know it is in me.

Wrench'd and sweaty -- calm and cool then my body becomes,
I sleep -- I sleep long.

I do not know it -- it is without name -- it is a word unsaid,
It is not in any dictionary, utterance, symbol.

Something it swings on more than the earth I swing on,
To it the creation is the friend whose embracing awakes me.

Perhaps I might tell more. Outlines! I plead for my brothers and sisters.

Do you see O my brothers and sisters?
It is not chaos or death -- it is form, union, plan --
     it is eternal life -- it is Happiness.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Sing me the Universal [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Come, said the Muse,
Sing me a song no poet yet has chanted,
Sing me the Universal.
  
In this broad Earth of ours,
Amid the measureless grossness and the slag,
Enclosed and safe within its central heart,
Nestles the seed Perfection.
  
By every life a share, or more or less,
None born but it is born -- conceal'd or unconceal'd, the seed is waiting.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. Flaunt out, o sea [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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1
To-day a rude brief recitative,
Of ships sailing the seas, each with its special flag or ship-signal,
Of unnamed heroes in the ships--of waves spreading and spreading far as the eye can reach,
Of dashing spray, and the winds piping and blowing,
And out of these a chant for the sailors of all nations,
Fitful, like a surge.

Of sea-captains young or old, and the mates, and of all intrepid sailors,
Of the few, very choice, taciturn, whom fate can never surprise nor death dismay.
Pick'd sparingly without noise by thee old ocean, chosen by thee,
Thou sea that pickest and cullest the race in time, and unitest nations,
Suckled by thee, old husky nurse, embodying thee,
Indomitable, untamed as thee.

[Ever the heroes on water or on land, by ones or twos appearing,
Ever the stock preserv'd and never lost, though rare, enough for seed preserv'd.]1

2
Flaunt out O sea your separate flags of nations!
Flaunt out visible as ever the various ship-signals!
But do you reserve especially for yourself and for the soul of man one flag above all the rest,
A spiritual woven signal for all nations, emblem of man elate above death,
Token of all brave captains and all intrepid sailors and mates,
And all that went down doing their duty,
Reminiscent of them, twined from all intrepid captains young or old,
A pennant universal, subtly waving all time, o'er all brave sailors,
All seas, all ships.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Vaughan Williams

Submitted by Ahmed E. Ismail

7. I sing the Body electric [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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I sing the Body electric;
The armies of those I love engirth me, and I engirth them;
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the Soul.
  
Was it doubted that those who corrupt their own bodies conceal themselves;
And if those who defile the living are as bad as they who defile the dead?
And if the body does not do as much as the Soul?
And if the body were not the Soul, what is the Soul?


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

8. A clear midnight [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): CAT FRE FRE GER GER GER

List of language codes

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


This is thy hour, O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best,
Night, sleep, death, and the stars.


Portions of this text were used in Idyll by Frederick Delius.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

9. Voyage [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): CAT FRE

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Alegra’t company de bord, alegra’t!", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Joy, shipmate, joy!
(Pleas'd to my soul at death I cry,)
Our life is closed, our life begins,
The long, long anchorage we leave,
The ship is clear at last, she leaps!
She swiftly courses from the shore,
Joy, shipmate, joy.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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