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Five Poems by John Masefield

Word count: 520

Song Cycle by Frederick John Easthope Martin (1882 - 1925)

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?. Beauty [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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I have seen dawn and sunset on moors and windy hills
Coming in solemn beauty like slow old tunes of Spain;
I have seen the Lady April bringing the daffodils,
Bringing the springing grass and the soft warm April rain.

I have heard the song of the blossoms and the old chant of the sea,
And seen strange lands from under the arched white sails of ships;
But the loveliest things of beauty God ever has shown to me
Are her voice, and her hair, and her eyes, and the dear red curve of her lips.


First published in Speaker, July 1903

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. St. Mary's Bells [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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It's pleasant in Holy Mary
By San Marie lagoon,
The bells they chime and jingle
From dawn to afternoon.
They rhyme and chime and mingle,
They pulse and boom and beat,
And the laughing bells are gentle
And the mournful bells are sweet.

Oh, who are the men that ring them,
The bells of San Marie,
Oh, who but the sonsie seamen
Come in from over sea.
And merrily in the belfries
They rock and sway and hale,
And send the bells a-jangle,
And down the lusty ale.

It's pleasant in Holy Mary
To hear the beaten bells
Come booming into music,
Which throbs, and clangs, and swells.
From sunset till the daybreak,
From dawn to afternoon,
In port of Holy Mary
On San Marie Lagoon.


Submitted by Ted Perry

?. Cargoes [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amythysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.


First published in Broad Sheet, May 1903

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. June twilight [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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The twilight comes;
the sun dips down and sets,
The boys have done
play at the nets.

In a warm golden glow
The woods are steeped.
The shadows grow;
The bat has cheeped.

Sweet smells the new-mown hay;
The mowers pass
Home, each his way,
through the grass.

The night-wind stirs the fern,
A night-jar spins;
The windows burn
In the inns.

Dusky it grows. The moon! The dews descend.
Love, can this beauty in our hearts end?


First published in Speaker, June 1904

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. An old song re-sung [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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I saw a ship a-sailing, a-sailing, a-sailing,
With emeralds and rubies and sapphires in her hold;
And a bosun in a blue coat bawling at the railing,
Piping a silver call that had a chain of gold;
The summer wind was failing and the tall ship rolled.

I saw a ship a-steering, a-steering, a-steering,
With roses in red thread worked upon her sails;
With sacks of purple amethysts, the spoils of buccaneering,
Skins of musky yellow wine, and silks in bales,
Her merry men were cheering, hauling on the brails.

I saw a ship a-sinking, a-sinking, a-sinking,
With glittering sea-water splashing on her decks,
With seamen in her spirit-room singing songs and drinking,
Pulling claret bottles down, and knocking off the necks,
The broken glass was chinking as she sank among the wrecks.


Submitted by Ted Perry

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