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Three Songs on Poems of Edwin Arlington Robinson

Word count: 291

Song Cycle by Richard Hensel (b. 1926)

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

Language: English

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Cliff Klingenhagen had me in to dine
With him one day; and after soup and meat,
And all the other things there were to eat,
Cliff took two glasses and filled one with wine
And one with wormwood. Then, without a sign
For me to choose at all, he took the draught
Of bitterness himself, and lightly quaffed
It off, and said the other one was mine.

And when I asked him what the deuce he meant
By doing that, he only looked at me
And smiled, and said it was a way of his.
And though I know the fellow, I have spent
Long time a-wondering when I shall be
As happy as Cliff Klingenhagen is.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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

Language: English

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We never half believed the stuff
They told about James Wetherell;
We always liked him well enough,
And always tried to use him well;
But now some things have come to light,
And James has vanished from our view, --
There is n't very much to write,
There is n't very much to do.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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

Language: English

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Because he was a butcher and thereby
Did earn an honest living (and did right),
I would not have you think that Reuben Bright
Was any more a brute than you or I;
For when they told him that his wife must die,
He stared at them, and shook with grief and fright,
And cried like a great baby half that night,
And made the women cry to see him cry.

And after she was dead, and he had paid
The singers and the sexton and the rest,
He packed a lot of things that she had made
Most mournfully away in an old chest
Of hers, and put some chopped-up cedar boughs
In with them, and tore down the slaughter-house.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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