Four Shakespeare Songs

Song Cycle by Elizabeth Maconchy (1907 - 1994)

Word count: 383

1. O take those lips away [sung text not yet checked]

Take, o take those lips away,
That so sweetly [were]1 forsworn;
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights [that]2 do mislead the morn:
But my kisses bring again;
Seals of love, [but]3 seal'd in vain, sealed in vain.

Hide, o hide those hills of snow
that thy frozen bosom wears,
On whose tops the pinks that grow
are yet of those that April wears;
But first set my poor heart free,
Bound in those icy chains by thee.

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (L. A. J. Burgersdijk)
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Paavo Cajander)
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Sarah L. Weller) , "Nimm, so nimm doch Deine Lippen fort", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • POL Polish (Polski) (Jan Kasprowicz) , "Śpiew Pacholęcia", Warsaw, first published 1907

View original text (without footnotes)
Note: quoted by John Fletcher, in Bloody Brother, 1639 and by William Shakespeare, in Measure for Measure, Act IV, scene 1, c1604 (just one stanza)
1 Bishop: "are"
2 Bishop: "which"
3 Bishop: "tho'"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. The wind and the rain [sung text not yet checked]

When that I was and a little tiny boy,
[With]1 hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
A foolish thing was but a toy,
For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came to man's estate,
[With]1 hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
'Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate,
For the rain it raineth every day.

[ But when I came, alas! to wive,
[With]1 hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
By swaggering could I never thrive,
For the rain it raineth every day.]2

[ But when I came unto my beds,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
With toss-pots still had drunken heads,
For the rain it raineth every day.]3

A great while ago the world [begun]4,
[With]1 hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
But that's all one, our play is done,
And we'll strive to please you every day.

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

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Amram: "With a"
2 Omitted by Amram.
3 set only by Baxter.
4 Amram: "began"

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

3. Come away Death [sung text not yet checked]

[Come away, come away, death]1,
  And in sad cypress let me be laid;
Fly away, fly away, breath;
  I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
  [O prepare it!]2
My part of death, no one so true
  Did share it.

Not a flower, not a flower sweet,
  On my black coffin let there be [strown]3;
Not a friend, not a friend greet
  My poor corpse, where my bones shall be [thrown]4:
[A thousand, [thousand]5 sighs to save,]6
  Lay me, O where
[Sad]5 true lover never find my grave,
  [To weep there!]7

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Jan Jonk) , "Kom toch gauw, kom toch gauw, dood", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Paavo Cajander)
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (David Paley) , "Komm herbei, komm herbei, Tod", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Paolo Montanari) , "Vieni, o morte", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • NOR Norwegian (Bokmål) (Marianne Beate Kielland) , "Kom hit, kom nå hit, død", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Fortner: "Death, come away, come away"
2 Dring: "Come prepare it"
3 Leguerney: "thrown"; Wilkinson: "strewn"
4 Leguerney: "strown"
5 omitted by Korngold
6 omitted by Argento.
7 Amram: "did share it." [mistake?]

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. King Stephen [sung text checked 1 time]

King Stephen [was]1 a worthy peer,
His breeches cost him but a crown;
He held them sixpence all too dear,
With that he called the tailor lown.
He was a wight of high renown.
And thou art but of low degree:
'Tis pride that pulls the country down;
Then take thine auld cloak about thee.

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

View original text (without footnotes)
1 in some versions of Shakespeare, "was and"

Researcher for this text: Maurice Hodges