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Songs from the Chinese Poets: Set V

Word count: 631

Song Cycle by Granville Ransome Bantock, Sir (1868 - 1946)

Show the texts alone (bare mode).

1. The court of dreams [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Chinese (中文)

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Rain from the mountains of Ki-Sho
Fled swiftly with a tearing breeze;
The sun came radiant down the west,
And greener blushed the valley trees.

I entered through the convent gate:
The abbot bade me welcome there,
And in the court of silent dreams
I lost the thread of worldly care.

That holy man and I were one,
Beyond the bounds that words can trace:
The very flowers were still as we.
I heard the lark that hung in space,
And Truth Eternal flashed on me.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Down the Hwai [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Chinese (中文)

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Into the night the sounds of luting flow;
The west wind stirs amid the root-crop blue;
While envious fireflies spoil the twinkling dew,
And early wild-geese stem the dark Kin-ho.

Now great trees tell their secrets to the sky,
And hill on hill looms in the moon-clear night.
I watch one leaf upon the river light,
And in a dream go drifting down the Hwai.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Night on the mountain [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Chinese (中文)

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I sat upon the mountain-side and watched
A tiny barque that skimmed across the lake,
Drifting, like human destiny upon
A world of hidden peril; then she sailed
From out my ken, and mingled with the blue
Of skies unfathomed, while the great round sun
Weakened towards the waves.
                             The whole expanse
Suddenly in the half-light of the dusk
Glimmered and waned. The last rays of the sun
Lit but the tops of trees and mountain-peaks
With tarnished glory; and the water's sheen,
Once blue and bright, grew lustreless, and soon
A welter of red clouds alone betrayed
The passing of the sun. The scattered isles
Uprose, black-looming o'er the tranquil deeps,
Where the reflected heavens wanly showed
A lingering gleam. Already wood and hill
Sank in obscurity. The river marge
Seemed but a broken line to failing sight.

     .   .   .   .   .

Night is at hand; the night winds fret afar,
The North winds moan. The waterfowl are gone
To cover o'er the sand-dunes; dawn alone
Shall call them from the sedges. Some bright star

Mirrors her charms upon the silver shoal;
And I have ta'en the lute, my only friend:
The vibrant chords beneath my fingers blend;
They sob awhile, then as they slip control

Immortal memories awake, and the dead years
Through deathless voices answer to my strings,
Till from the brink of Time's untarnished springs
The melting night recalls me with her tears.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. The lost one [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Chinese (中文)

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The red gleam o'er the mountains
Goes wavering from sight,
And the quiet moon enhances
The loveliness of night.

I open wide my casement
To breathe the rain-cooled air.
And mingle with the moonlight
The dark waves of my hair.

The night wind tells me secrets
Of lotus lilies blue;
And hour by hour the willows
Shake down the chiming dew.

I fain would take the zither,
By some stray fancy led;
But there are none to hear me,
And who can charm the dead?

So all my day-dreams follow
The bird that leaves the nest;
And in the night I gather
The lost one to my breast.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Memories with the dusk return [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Chinese (中文)

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The yellow dusk winds round the city wall;
      The crows are drawn to nest,
      Silently down the west
They hasten home, and from the branches call.
A woman sits and weaves with fingers deft
   Her story of the flower-lit stream,
   Threading the jasper gauze in dream,
Till like faint smoke it dies; and she, bereft,
   Recalls the parting words that died
Under the casement some far eventide,
   And stays the disappointed loom,
   While from the little lonely room
   Into the lonely night she peers,
And, like the rain, unheeded fall her tears.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. And there are tears [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Chinese (中文)

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High o'er the hill the moon barque steers.
   The lantern lights depart.
Dead springs are stirring in my heart;
      And there are tears. . . .
But that which makes my grief more deep
Is that you know not when I weep.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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