Songs of the Countryside

Song Cycle by Michael (Dewar) Head (1900 - 1976)

Word count: 605

1. When I came forth this morn I saw [sung text not yet checked]

When I came forth this morn I saw
    Quite twenty cloudlets in the air; 
And then I saw a flock of sheep,
    Which told me how these clouds came there.

That flock of sheep, on that green grass,
    Well might it lie so still and proud! 
Its likeness had been drawn in heaven,
    On a blue sky, in silvery cloud.

I gazed me up, I gazed me down,
    And swore, though good the likeness was, 
'Twas a long way from justice done
    To such white wool, such sparkling grass.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. The temper of a maid [sung text not yet checked]

The Swallow dives in yonder air,
The Robin sings with sweetest ease,
The Apple shines among the leaves,
The Leaf is dancing in the breeze;
The Butterfly's on a warm stone,
The Bee is suckled by a flower;
The Wasp's inside a ripe red plum,
The Ant has found his load this hour;
The Squirrel counts and hides his nuts,
The Stoat is on a scent that burns;
The Mouse is nibbling a young shoot,
The Rabbit sits beside his ferns;
The Snake has found a sunny spot,
The Frog and Snail a slimy shade;
But I can find no joy on earth,
All through the temper of a maid.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Nature's friend [sung text not yet checked]

Say what you like, 
All things love me! 
I pick no flowers -- 
That wins the Bee. 

The Summer's Moths 
Think my hand one -- 
To touch their wings -- 
With Wind and Sun. 

The garden Mouse 
Comes near to play; 
Indeed, he turns 
His eyes away. 

The Wren knows well 
I rob no nest; 
When I look in. 
She still will rest. 

The hedge stops Cows, 
Or they would come 
After my voice 
Right to my home. 

The Horse can tell, 
Straight from my lip. 
My hand could not 
Hold any whip. 

Say what you like, 
All things love me! 
Horse, Cow, and Mouse, 
Bird, Moth and Bee.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Robin Redbreast [sung text not yet checked]

Robin on a leafless bough, 
Lord in Heaven, how he sings! 
Now cold Winter's cruel Wind 
Makes playmates of withered things. 

How he sings for joy this morn ! 
How his breast doth pant and glow! 
Look you how he stands and sings, 
Half-way up his legs in snow! 

If these crumbs of bread were pearls, 
And I had no bread at home, 
He should have them for that song; 
Pretty Robin Redbreast, Come. 

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Sweet Chance, that led my steps abroad [sung text checked 1 time]

Sweet Chance, that led my steps abroad,
Beyond the town, where wild flow'rs grow --
A rainbow and a cuckoo, Lord,
How rich and great the times are now!
Know all ye sheep
And cows, that keep
On staring that I stand so long
In grass that's wet from heavy rain --
A rainbow, and a cuckoo's song
May never come together again,
May never come [from]1
This side the tomb.
A rainbow, and a cuckoo's song
May never come together again...

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 added by Head.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. Money, O! [sung text checked 1 time]

When I had money, money, O!
I knew no joy till I went poor;
For many a false man as a friend
Came knocking all day at my door.

Then felt I like a child that holds
A trumpet that he must not blow
Because a man is dead; I dared
Not speak to let this false world know.

Much have I thought of life, and seen
How poor men's hearts are ever light;
And how their wives do hum like bees
About their work from morn till night.

So, when I hear these poor ones laugh,
And see the rich ones coldly frown 
Poor men, think I, need not go up
So much as rich men should come down.

When I had money, money, O!
My many friends proved all untrue;
But now I have no money, O!
My friends are real, though very few.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Robert Marks