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Songs from the Chinese Poets: Set VI

Word count: 376

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

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1. The King of Tang [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English after the Chinese (中文)

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There looms a lordly pleasure-tower o'er yon dim shore,
Raised by some King of Tang.
Jade pendants at his girdle clashed, and golden bells
Around his chariot rang.

Strange guests through sounding halls at dawn go trailing by,
Grey mists and mocking winds;
And sullen brooding twilights break in rain on rain,
To lash the ragged blinds.

The slow, sun-dappled clouds lean down o'er waters blue,
Clear mirrored one by one;
Then drift as all the world shall drift. The very stars
Their timeless courses run.

How many autumn moons have steeped those palace walls!
And paled the shattered beams!
What is their royal builder now? A Lord of dust?
An Emperor of dreams?


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Wild geese [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English after the Chinese (中文)

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When wild geese leave the uplands lone
The frost turns sand and rock to stone.
When over Chiang Nan they scream
Pale leaves go drifting down the stream.
Broad is the water; heaven leans low;
Sullen and dun the cloud-wracks show.
When north winds tear the ragged sky
Their taper files go whistling by.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Exile [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English after the Chinese (中文)

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Through the green blinds that shelter me
Two butterflies at play -- 
Four wings of flame whirl joyously
Around me and away;
While swallows breasting to the shore
Ripple the waves they wander o'er.

And I that scan the distant view
Of torn white clouds and mountains blue
Lift to the north my aching eyes;
'Tis there -- 'tis there the city lies!
Chang-an arise! arise!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Willow flowers [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English after the Chinese (中文)

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O willow flowers like flakes of snow,
Where do your wandering legions go?
Little we care, and less we know!
Our ways are the ways of the wind;
Our life in the whirl, and death in the drifts below.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Dreaming at Golden Hill [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English after the Chinese (中文)

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The stranger merchants faring from the east
Muffled in cotton robes, have met to feast.
They drink, they revel, and they part at will,
While moonlight floods the towers of Golden Hill.
The third watch comes, the tide begins to flow;
A fair wind follows, and in dreams I blow
The reed-pipes, and have sailed to far Yangchow.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. Galloping home [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English after the Chinese (中文)

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Surely there sings no lighter heart than mine beneath the sky!
And now, companion of my nights of long moon-dreams, good-bye!
For mine is the silver dragon car
That hovers beyond the Rainbow Dome1,
And it's oh to be galloping, galloping home
Where my dream-born children are!


View original text (without footnotes)
1 note from the original poem: "The palace where Chang O, the Moon-goddess, dwells."

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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