A Broken Arc

Song Cycle by Arthur Somervell, Sir (1863 - 1937)

Word count: 434

?. Meeting at Night [sung text not yet checked]

The gray sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low;
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed i' the slushy sand.

Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;
A tap on the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, through its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Such a starved bank of moss [sung text not yet checked]

Such a starved bank of moss
Till, that May-morn,
Blue ran the flash across:
Violets were born!

Sky -- what a scowl of cloud
Till, near and far,
Ray on ray split the shroud:
Splendid, a star!

World -- how it walled about
Life with disgrace,
Till God's own smile came out:
That was thy face! 

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?. Nay, but you, who do not love her [sung text not yet checked]

Nay but you, who do not love her,
  Is she not pure gold, my mistress?
Holds earth aught -- speak truth -- above her?
  Aught like this tress, see, and this tress,
And this last fairest tress of all,
So fair, see, ere I let it fall?
Because, you spend your lives in praising;
  To praise, you search the wide world over:
Then why not witness, calmly gazing,
  If earth holds aught -- speak truth -- above her?
Above this tress, and this, I touch
But cannot praise, I love so much!

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?. After [sung text not yet checked]

Take the cloak from his face, and at first
Let the corpse do its worst!

How he lies in his rights of a man!
Death has done all death can.
And, absorbed in the new life he leads,
He recks not, he heeds
Nor his wrong nor my vengeance; both strike
On his senses alike,
And are lost in the solemn and strange
Surprise of the change.
Ha, what avails death to erase
His offence, my disgrace?
I would we were boys as of old
In the field, by the fold:
His outrage, God's patience, man's scorn
Were so easily borne!

I stand here now, he lies in his place:
Cover the face! 

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. My star [sung text not yet checked]

All, that I know
Of a certain star
Is, it can throw
(Like the angled spar)
Now a dart of red,
Now a dart of blue
Till my friends have said
They would fain see, too,
My star that dartles the red and the blue!
Then it stops like a bird; like a flower, hangs furled:
They must solace themselves with the Saturn above it.
What matter to me if their star is a world?
Mine has opened its soul to me; therefore I love it.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]