Four Songs

Song Cycle by Mary Grant Carmichael (1851 - 1935)

Word count: 391

1. The Sea-mew screams in flight [sung text checked 1 time]

The sea-mew screams in flight
Over the wild, wide sea;
And the wind has a weary murmur
Through the boughs of the leafless tree.

But O! the heart has music
In all its happy moods,
As if the golden summer
Were here among the trees.

There are clouds on the distant hills
And the sky is a misty grey;
And dimly loom the fishing smacks
Afar on the sunless bay.

But the heart can cherish beauty
And a pleasant vision weaves
As when the song of the woodlark
Came merryly [sic] through the trees.

O wind, on sand and shingle
Still dash the stormy spray.
I hear in thy hoarsest tumult
The silver voice of May.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

2. To Sapho [sung text checked 1 time]

[Sappho]1, I will choose to go
Where the northern winds do blow
Endless ice and endless snow:
Rather than I once would see
But a winter's face in thee,
To benumb my hopes and me.

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 Carmichael: "Sapho"

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

3. O Mistress mine [sung text checked 1 time]

O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O stay and hear, your true love's coming 
That can sing both high and low.

[Trip]1 no [further]2, pretty sweeting;
[Journeys]3 end in lovers' meeting,
Ev'ry wise man's son doth know.

What is love? 'Tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What's to come is still unsure:

[In]4 delay there lies no plenty;
Then [come kiss]5 me, sweet and twenty;
Youth's a stuff will not endure.

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

  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Paavo Cajander)
  • FRE French (Français) (François-Victor Hugo)
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (David Paley) , "O Fräulein meins! Woher du wanderst", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • IRI Irish (Gaelic) [singable] (Gabriel Rosenstock) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Paolo Montanari) , "O mia signora", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Korngold: "O trip"
2 [sic] ; and Hall: "farther"
3 Korngold: "For journeyes"
4 Korngold: "And in"
5 Korngold: "come and kiss"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Cradle song [sung text checked 1 time]

Sweet dreams, form a shade
[O'er]1 my lovely infant's head!
Sweet dreams of pleasant streams
By happy, silent, moony beams!

Sweet Sleep, with soft down
Weave thy brows an infant crown.
Sweet Sleep, angel mild,
Hover o'er my happy child!

Sweet smiles, in the night
Hover over my delight!
Sweet smiles, mother's [smile]2,
All the livelong night [beguile]3.

Sweet moans, dovelike sighs,
Chase not slumber from thine eyes!
Sweet moan, sweeter [smile]2,
All the dovelike moans [beguile]3.

Sleep, sleep, happy child!
All creation slept and smiled.
Sleep, sleep, happy sleep,
While o'er thee [thy]4 mother weep.

[ ... ]

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 Carmichael: "Round"
2 Carmichael: "smiles"
3 Carmichael: "beguiles"
4 Baxter: "doth"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]