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Three Madrigals

Word count: 244

Song Cycle by Ernst Křenek (1900 - 1991)

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1. Fairies' song


You spotted snakes with double tongue,
Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen;
Newts and blind-worms, do no wrong,
Come not near our fairy queen.

Philomel, with melody
Sing in our sweet lullaby;
Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby:
[Never harm,
Nor spell nor charm,
Come our lovely lady nigh;
So, good night, with lullaby.]1

Weaving spiders, come not here;
Hence, you long-legg'd spinners, hence!
[Beetles black, approach not near;
Worm nor snail, do no offence.

Philomel, with melody, etc.]2


View original text (without footnotes)
1 moved to the end by Křenek; moved to the beginning by Blitzstein (see text below).
2 omitted by Křenek.
Text as set by Blitzstein (courtesy of Kyle Degraff):
Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby:
Never harm, Nor spell nor charm,
Come our lovely lady nigh;
So, good night, with lullaby.

You spotted snakes with double tongue,
Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen;
Newts and blind-worms, do no wrong,
Come not near our fairy queen.

Weaving spiders, come not here;
Hence, you long-legged spinners, hence!
Beetles black, approach not near;
Worm nor snail, do no offence.

Philomele, with melody
Sing in our sweet lullaby.
Lulla, lulla, lullaby,
Lulla, lulla, lullaby.
Lullaby.

2. The four sweet months


First, April, she with mellow showers
Opens the way for early flowers,
Then after her comes smiling May
In a more rich and sweet array,
Next enters June and brings us more
Gems than those two that went before,
Then (lastly,) July comes and she
More wealth brings in than all those three;
April! May! June! July!


3. Summer again


"Summer is coming, summer is coming,
I know it, I know it, I know it.
Light again, leaf again, life again, love again,"
Yes, my wild little poet.
 
Sing the new year in under the blue,
Last year you sang it as gladly,
"New, new, new, new!" Is it then so new
That you should carol so madly?
 
"Love again, song again, nest again, young again,"
Never a prophet so crazy!
And hardly a daisy as yet, little friend,
See, there is hardly a daisy.
 
"Here again, here, here, here, happy year!"
O warble unchidden, unbidden!
Summer is coming, is coming, my dear,
And all the winters are hidden.


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