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5 songs

Word count: 305

Song Cycle by Henk van der Vliet

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1. Song

Language: English

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

2. Music, when soft voices die [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER GER GER RUS

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

  • FRE French (Fran├žais) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Martin Stock) , "Musik, wenn leise Stimmen ersterben ...", copyright © 2002, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Music, when soft voices die,	
Vibrates in the memory;
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.

Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heaped for the belovèd's bed;
And so [thy]1 thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.


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1 Bridge: "my"

Submitted by Ted Perry

3. Trees [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth's sweet-flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.


Submitted by Ted Perry

4. Cupid mistaken [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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As after noon, one summer's day,
    Venus stood bathing in a river; 
Cupid a-shooting went that way,
    New strung his bow, new fill'd his quiver.

With skill he chose his sharpest dart:
    With all his might his bow he drew: 
Swift to his beauteous parent's heart
    The too well-guided arrow flew.

I faint! I die! the Goddess cry'd:
    O cruel, could'st thou find none other, 
To wreck thy spleen on? Parricide!
    Like Nero, thou hast slain thy mother.

Poor Cupid sobbing scarce could speak;
    Indeed, Mamma, I did not know ye: 
Alas! how easy my mistake?
    I took you for your likeness, Cloe.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Why so pale and wan [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Why so pale and wan, fond lover?
  Prithee, why so pale?
Will, when looking well can't move her,
  Looking ill prevail?
  Prithee, why so pale?

Why so dull and mute, young sinner?
  Prithee, why so mute?
Will, when speaking well can't win her,
  Saying nothing do't?
  Prithee, why so mute?

Quit, quit for shame, this will not move,
  This cannot take her;
If of herself she will not love,
  Nothing can make her;
  [The devil take her!]1


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1 Britten: "Let who will take her!"

Submitted by Ted Perry and Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor]

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