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Four Dramatic Songs

Word count: 474

Song Cycle by Cyril Bradley Rootham (1875 - 1938)

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

Language: English

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While the sun was going down, 
There arose a fairy town. 
Not the town I saw by day, 
Cheerless, joyless, dull and gray, 
But a far, fantastic place, 
Builded with ethereal grace, 
Shimmering in a tender mist 
That the slanting rays had kissed 
Ere they let their latest fire 
Touch with gold each slender spire.
There no men and women be:
Mermen, maidens of the sea, 
Combing out their tangled locks, 
Sit and sing amound the rocks. 
As their ruddy harps they sound 
With the seaweed twisted round, 
In the shining sand below 
See the city downward go!


Submitted by John Fowler

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

Language: English

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I called you, fiery spirits, and ye came!
Earth was the earth no more; the solid ground
Was as a maze of cloud-like glories found,
The sun was music and the wind was flame.
A rainbow shone about the sacred name
Of all the virtues. Thought in rapture drowned,
Wild ecstasy it was to hear the sound,
The fluttering of the wings of Love and Fame.
I called you, fiery spirits! When your task
Was over, faint, weary, and short of breath,
I would have driven you hence. I did but ask
The old life that I led, the life beneath.
In vain! The world henceforward seems a masque
Fit for the haunted rooms of dreamy death.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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

Language: English

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We were young, we were merry, we were very very wise,
And the door stood open at our feast,
When there passed us a woman with the West in her eyes,
And a man with his back to the East.
O, still grew the hearts that were beating so fast,
The loudest voice was still.
The jest died away on our lips as they passed,
And the rays of July struck chill.
The cups of red wine turned pale on the board,
The white bread black as soot.
The hound forgot the hand of her lord,
She fell down at his foot.
Low let me lie, where the dead dog lies,
Ere I sit me down again at a feast,
When there passes a woman with the West in her eyes,
And a man with his back to the East.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Over the hills [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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All around was dumb and still,
Dumb and still as any stone.
We went together over the hill,
But I came back alone.
All around was gray and dun,
Gray and dun by sea and shore.
When twilight fell, my love saw one,
Where she saw two before.
All around was barren ground,
Barren ground lay far and near.
I left him with a gaping wound,
And what had I to fear?
When she asks me what befell,
What befell on Lady Day,
I, her lord, that love her well,
Whisper in her ear and say --
"All around was dumb and still,
Dumb and still as any stone.
We went together over the hill,
But I came back alone."


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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