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Six Modern Lyrics

Word count: 490

Song Cycle by Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, Sir (1848 - 1918)

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1. How sweet the answer [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER GER

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Écho", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


How sweet the answer Echo makes
  To Music at night,
When, rous'd by lute or horn, she wakes,
And far away, o'er lawns and lakes,
  Goes answering light!

Yet Love hath echoes truer far,
  And far more sweet,
Than e'er beneath the moonlight's star,
Of horn, or lute, or soft guitar,
  The songs repeat.

'Tis when the sigh, in youth sincere,
  And only then, --
The sigh that's breath'd for one to hear,
Is by that one, that only dear,
  Breath'd back again.


Submitted by Virginia Knight

2. Since thou, O fondest and truest [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: German (Deutsch)

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Since thou, O fondest and truest, 
Hast loved me best and longest, 
And now with trust the strongest 
The joy of my heart renewest ; 

Since thou art dearer and dearer 
While other hearts grow colder, 
And ever, as love is older, 
More lovingly drawest nearer : 

Since now I see in the measure 
Of all my giving and taking, 
Thou wert my hand in the making, 
The sense and soul of my pleasure; 

The good I have ne'er repaid thee 
In heaven I pray be recorded, 
And all thy love rewarded 
By God, thy master that made thee.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. If I had but two little wings [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): GER

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If I had but two little wings
And were a little feathery bird,
To you I'd fly, my dear!
But thoughts like these are idle things,
And I stay here.

But in my sleep to you I fly:
I'm always with you in my sleep!
The world is all one's own.
But then one wakes, and where am I?
All, all alone.

Sleep stays not, though a monarch bids:
So I love to wake ere break of day:
For though my sleep be gone,
Yet while 'tis dark, one shuts one's lids,
And still dreams on.


First published in The Annual Anthology, Volume II, 1800

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. There rolls the deep [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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There rolls the deep where grew the tree.
O earth, what changes hast thou seen!
There, where the long street roars, hath been
The stillness of the central sea.

The hills are shadows, and they flow
From form to form, and nothing stands;
They melt like mist, the solid lands,
Like clouds they shape themselves and go.

But in my spirit will I dwell,
And dream my dream, and hold it true;
For though my lips may breathe adieu,
I cannot think the thing farewell.


Submitted by Virginia Knight

5. What voice of gladness [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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What voice of gladness, hark ! 
In heaven is ringing ? 
From the sad fields the lark 
Is upward winging. 

High through the mournful mist that blots our day 
Their songs betray 
them soaring in the grey. 
See them ! Nay, they

In sunlight swim ; above the furthest stain 
Of cloud attain ; 
their hearts in music rain
Upon the plain. 

Sweet birds, far out of sight 
Your songs of pleasure
Dome us with joy as bright 
As heaven's best azure.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. Music, when soft voices die [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER GER GER RUS

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

  • FRE French (Français) (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.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Bridge: "my"

Submitted by Ted Perry

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