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Word count: 361

Song Cycle by John (Nicholson) Ireland (1879 - 1962)

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1. Youth's Spring-Tribute [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English


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On this sweet bank your head thrice sweet and dear
I lay, and spread your hair on either side,
And see the newborn woodflowers bashful-eyed
Look through the golden tresses here and there.
On these debateable borders of the year
Spring's foot half falters; scarce she yet may know
The leafless blackthorn-blossom from the snow.
And through her bowers the wind' s way still is clear.

But April's sun strikes down the glades to-day;
So shut your eyes upturned and feel my kiss
Creep, as the Spring now thrills through every spray,
Up your warm throat to your warm lips: for this
Is even the hour of Love's sworn suitservice,
With whom cold hearts are counted castaway.

Submitted by Ted Perry

2. Penumbra [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English


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I did not look upon her eyes,
(Though scarcely seen, with no surprise,
'Mid many eyes a single look),
Because they should not gaze rebuke
At night, from stars in sky and brook.

I did not take her by the hand
(Though little was to understand
From touch of hands all friends might take),
Because it should not prove a flake
Burnt in my palm to boil and ache.

I did not listen to her voice,
(Though none had noted, where at choice
All might rejoice in listening)
Because no such a thing should cling
In the wood's moan at evening.

They told me she was sad that day,
(Though wherefore tell what love's soothsay,
Sooner than.they, did register?)
And my heart leapt and wept to her,
And yet I did not speak nor stir.

So shall the tongues of the sea's foam
(Though many voices therewith come
From drowned hope's home to cry to me),
Bewail one hour the more, when sea
And wind are one with memory.

Submitted by Ted Perry

3. Spleen (after Paul Verlaine) [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English after the French (Français)


Based on
  • a text in French (Français) by Paul Verlaine (1844 - 1896), "Spleen", appears in Romances sans paroles, in Aquarelles, no. 2 GER GER NOR SRB
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Joseph Béesau, Jean-Robert Blanc, Charles Bordes, Alphonse-Eugène-Marie Catherine, Claude Achille Debussy, Fidès Devriès, Bernard van Dieren, Madeleine Dubois, Marius-François Gaillard, Roger-Élie Jalowicz, Paul Ladmirault, Sylvio Lazzari, Robert Legrand, Madeleine Lemariey, René-Jean Matter, Marius Mille, Jean-Frédéric Perrenoud, Albert Phaneuf, as Maurice Dela, Auguste Pierret, Irena Regina Poldowski, Joseph Ryelandt, Henry Sauveplane, Louis Schopfer, Jerzy Sokorski, Jean.-P. Strauwen, Louis Vierne. Go to the text.

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Around were all the roses red
The ivy all around was black.

Dear, so thou only move thine head,
Shall all mine old despairs awake!

Too blue, too tender was the sky,
The air too soft, too green the sea.

Always I fear, I know not why,
Some lamentable flight from thee.

I am so tired of holly-sprays
And weary of the bright box-tree,

Of all the endless country ways;
Of everything alas! save thee.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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