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The weeping child

Word count: 418

Song Cycle by Richard Roderick-Jones (b. 1947)

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?. Armed for war [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Is life on Earth a Viler thing
Than ever was known before?
Who shall we ask-the wise old man
Whose years have reached five score?
 
When we have questioned church and state,
Is there anyone else to ask?
Is it the baby, three weeks old,
That wears a gas-proof mask?
 
Is it the infant armed to meet
A poisoned earth and sky --
A thing too weak to lift its hand
To rub a sleepy eye?


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The weeping child [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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What makes thee weep so, little child, 
What cause hast thou for all this grief ? 
When thou art old much cause may be, 
And tears will bring thee no relief. 

Thou dost not know thy mother yet, 
Thou'dst sleep on any bosom near; 
Thou dost not see a daughter dying, 
No son is coughing in thy ear. 

Thy father is a bearded man. 
Yet any bearded man could take 
Thee in his arms, and thou not know 
Which man would die for thy sweet sake. 

What makes thee weep then, little child, 
What cause hast thou for all this bother; 
Whose father could be any man, 
And any woman be thy mother? 


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. How kind is sleep [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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How kind is sleep, how merciful:
That I last night have seen
The happy birds with bosoms pressed
Against the leaves so green.

Sweet sleep, that made my mind forget
My love had gone away;
And nevermore I'd touch her soft
Warm body, night or day.
 
So, every night deceived by sleep,
Let me on roses lie;
And leave the thorns of Truth for day,
To pierce me till I die.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The evening star

Language: English

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See how her body pants
 . . . . . . . . . .

[--- The rest of this text is not
currently in the database but will be
added as soon as we obtain it. ---]

?. The ways of Time [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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[As far as my own heart's concerned, 
I give old Time contempt ; but when 
I ask for girls and boys, he brings 
Me grey-haired dames and men. 

I ask to see a leafy house, 
Where Nature almost laughed her way 
Right in : he shows me a stone block, 
Bare of a leafy spray.]1

As butterflies are but winged flowers, 
Half sorry for their change, who fain, 
So still and long they lie on leaves, 
Would be thought flowers again 

E'en so my thoughts, that should expand, 
And grow to higher themes above, 
Return like butterflies to lie 
On the old things I love. 

I would not care one jot how soon 
Death came, had I one day at last 
To be again the boy I was, 
With children of the past. 

Age ofttimes grudges me good day ; 
Children hallo with pleasant stare : 
When I was young one child ne'er failed 
She with the longest hair.


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1 These two stanzas were omitted from later publications of this poem.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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