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Songs of Farewell

Word count: 319

Song Cycle by Frederick Delius (1862 - 1934)

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1. How sweet the silent backward tracings! [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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How sweet the silent backward tracings!
The wanderings as in dreams - the meditation of old
times resumed their loves, joys, persons, voyages.
Apple orchards, the trees all cover'd with blossoms;
Wheat fields carpeted far and near in vital emerald green;
The eternal, exhaustless freshness of each early morning;
The yellow, golden, transparent haze of the warm afternoon sun;
The aspiring lilac bushes with profuse purple or white flowers.


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2. I stand as on some mighty eagle's beak [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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I stand as on some mighty eagle's beak,
Eastward the sea absorbing, viewing, (nothing but sea and sky),
The tossing waves, the foam, the ships in the distance,
The wild unrest, the snowy, curling caps - that
inbound urge and urge of waves,
Seeking the shores forever.


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3. Passage to you! [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Passage to you!
O secret of the earth and sky!
Of you O waters of the sea! O winding creeks and rivers!
Of you O woods and fields! Of you strong mountains of my land!
Of you O prairies! Of you gray rocks!
O morning red! O clouds! O rain and snows!
O day and night, passage to you!
O sun and moon and all you stars! Sirius and Jupiter!
Passage to you!
Passage, immediate passage! The blood burns in my veins!
Away O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!


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4. Joy, shipmate, joy! [ sung text checked 1 time]

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.


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5. Now finalè to the shore [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Now finalè to the shore,
Now land and life finalè and farewell,
Now Voyager depart, (much, much for thee is yet in store,)
Often enough has thou adventur'd o'er the seas,
Cautiously cruising - studying the charts,
Duly again to port and hawser's tie returning;
But now obey thy cherish'd secret wish,
Embrace thy friends, leave all in order,
To port and hawser's tie no returning,
Depart upon thy endless cruise old Sailor.


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