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Three Songs for Voice and Harp

Word count: 216

Song Cycle by Elizabeth Maconchy (1907 - 1994)

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1. A widow-bird sate mourning [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): ITA

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

  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Un passero solitario il suo amore lamenta", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


A widow bird sate mourning for her love
  Upon a wintry bough,
The frozen wind crept on above;
  The freezing stream below.

There was no leaf upon the forest bare,
  No [flower]1 upon the ground
And little motion in the air,
  Except the mill-wheel's sound.


View original text (without footnotes)
Some settings use the modernized spelling "sat" instead of "sate"
1 Treharne: "flowers".

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. So, we'll go no more a roving [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE FRE GER GER

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , "So werden wir nicht mehr schweifen", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


So we'll go no more a-roving
  So late into the night,
Though the heart be [still]1 as loving,
  And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears [the]2 sheath,
  And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart [must pause to breathe]3,
  And Love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
  And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a-roving
  By the light of the moon.


View original text (without footnotes)
Included in a letter to Thomas Moore on February 28, 1817
See also Henley's "We'll go no more a-roving"
1 Armstrong, White: "ne'er"
2 Chávez: "its"
3 Armstrong, White: "itself must pause"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. The knot there's no untying [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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How delicious is the winning
Of a kiss at love's beginning,
When two mutual hearts are sighing,
For the knot there's no untying!

Bind the sea to slumber stilly,
Bind its odour to the lily,
Bind the aspen ne'er to quiver,
Then bind love to last forever.

Love's a fire that needs renewal
Of fresh beauty for its fuel:
Love's wing moults when caged or captured,
Only free he soars enraptured.

Can you keep the bee from ranging,
Or the ring-dove's neck from changing?
No! nor fetter'd love from dying,
In the knot there's no untying.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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