Heaven's River

Song Cycle by David Leisner (b. 1958)

Word count: 323

1. The Boat [sung text not yet checked]

Early in the day it was whispered 
that we should sail in a boat, only thou and I, 
and never a soul in the world 
would know of this our pilgrimage 
to no country and to no end.

In that shoreless ocean, 
at thy silently listening smile 
my songs would swell in melodies, 
free as waves, free from all bondage of words.

Is the time not come yet? 
Are there works still to do? 
Lo, the evening has come down upon the shore 
and in the fading light 
the seabirds come flying to their nests.

Who knows when the chains will be off, 
and the boat, like the last glimmer of sunset, 
vanish into the night?

Authorship

Based on

See other settings of this text.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • IRI Irish (Gaelic) [singable] (Gabriel Rosenstock) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Light [sung text not yet checked]

Light, my light, the world-filling light,
the eye-kissing light, heart-sweetening light!

Ah, the light dances, my darling, at the centre of my life;
the light strikes, my darling, the chords of my love;
the sky opens, the wind runs wild, laughter passes over the earth.

The butterflies spread their sails on the sea of light.
Lilies and jasmines surge up on the crest of the waves of light.

The light is shattered into gold on every cloud, my darling,
and it scatters gems in profusion.

Mirth spreads from leaf to leaf, my darling,
and gladness without measure. 
The heaven's river has drowned its banks 
and the flood of joy is abroad.

Authorship

Based on

See other settings of this text.

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Geoffrey Wieting

3. To the Stream [sung text not yet checked]

The day is no more, 
the shadow is upon the earth. 
It is time that I go to the stream 
to fill my pitcher.

The evening air is eager 
with the sad music of the water. 
Ah, it calls me out into the dusk. 
In the lonely lane there is no passer-by, 
the wind is up, 
the ripples are rampant in the river.

I know not if I shall come back home. 
I know not whom I shall chance to meet. 
There at the fording in the little boat 
the unknown man plays upon his lute.

Authorship

Based on

See other settings of this text.

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]