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Four Songs

Word count: 327

Song Cycle by Ernst Křenek (1900 - 1991)

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1. Peace


When will you ever, Peace, wild wooddove, shy wings shut,
Your round me roaming end, and under be my boughs?
When, when, Peace, will you, Peace? I'll not play hypocrite
To own my heart: I yield you do come sometimes; but
That piecemeal peace is poor peace. What pure peace allows
Alarms of wars, the daunting wars, the death of it?
 
O surely, reaving Peace, my Lord should leave in lieu
Some good! And so he does leave Patience exquisite,
That plumes to Peace thereafter. And when Peace here does house
He comes with work to do, he does not come to coo,
        He comes to brood and sit.


2. Patience


Patience, hard thing! the hard thing but to pray,
But bid for, Patience is! Patience who asks
Wants war, wants wounds; weary his times, his tasks;
To do without, take tosses, and obey.
  Rare patience roots in these, and, these away,
Nowhere. Natural heart's ivy, Patience masks
Our ruins of wrecked past purpose. There she basks
Purple eyes and seas of liquid leaves all day.
 
  We hear our hearts grate on themselves: it kills
To bruise them dearer. Yet the rebellious wills
Of us we do bid God bend to him even so.
  And where is he who more and more distils
Delicious kindness? -- He is patient. Patience fills
His crisp combs, and that comes those ways we know.


3. On a piece of music


[How all's]1 to one thing wrought!	


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Krenek: "How's all" (?)

4. Moonrise


I woke in the midsummer not-to-call night
  in the white and the walk of the morning:
The moon, dwindled and thinned to the fringe
  of a fingernail held to the candle,
Or paring of paradisaical fruit,
  lovely in waning but lustreless
Stepped from the stool, drew back from the barrow
  of dark Maenefa the mountain;
A cusp yet clasped him, a fluke yet fanged him
  entangled him, not quite utterly.
This was the prized, the desirable sight,
  unsought, presented so easily,
Parted me leaf and leaf, divided me
  eyelid and eyelid of slumber.


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