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Five Quiet Songs

Word count: 302

Song Cycle by John William Duarte (b. 1919)

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

Language: English

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Here lies a most beautiful lady,
Light of heart and step was she;
I think she was the most beautiful lady
That ever was in the West Country.
But beauty passes; beauty vanishes;
However rare, rare it be;
And when I die, who will remember
That lady of the West Country.


Submitted by Ted Perry

?. Omar's lament

Language: English

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

?. Dirge in woods [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): GER

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A wind sways the pines,
   And below
Not a breath of wild air;
Still as the mosses that glow
On the flooring and over the lines
Of the roots here and there.
The pine-tree drops its dead;
They are quiet, as under the sea.
Overhead, overhead
Rushes life in a race,
As the clouds the clouds chase;
   And we go,
And we drop like the fruits of the tree,
   Even we,
   Even so.


First published in Fortnightly Review, August 1870

Submitted by Ted Perry

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

Language: English

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There is a silence where hath been no sound,
There is a silence where no sound may be,
In the cold grave--under the deep deep sea,
Or in wide desert where no life is found,
Which hath been mute, and still must sleep profound;
No voice is hush'd--no life treads silently,
But clouds and cloudy shadows wander free.
That never spoke, over the idle ground:
But in green ruins, in the desolate walls
Of antique palaces, where Man hath been,
Though the dun fox, or wild hyaena, calls,
And owls, that flit continually between,
Shriek to the echo, and the low winds moan, --
There the true Silence is, self-conscious and alone.


First published in London Magazine, 1823
Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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

Language: English

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When Jesus Christ was four years old,
The angels brought Him toys of gold,
Which no man ever had bought or sold.

And yet with these He would not play.
He made Him small fowl out of clay,
And blessed them till they flew away.

Tu creasti, Domine.1
Jesus Christ, Thou child so wise, 
Bless mine hands and fill mine eyes,
And bring my soul to Paradise.


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1 Translation: Thou hast created them, O Lord.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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