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Songs of Experience

Word count: 623

Song Cycle by David Haines (b. 1956)

Show the texts alone (bare mode).

1. Introduction (Hear the voice of the bard) [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Hear the voice of the Bard!
Who Present, Past, and Future see;
Whose ears have heard
the Holy Word
That walked among the ancient trees,

Calling the lapsed Soul 
And weeping in the evening dew
That might control
the starry pole,
And fallen, fallen light renew!

"O earth, O earth, return!
Arise from out the dewy grass;
Night is worn, 
and [the morn]1
rises from the slumbering mass.

"Turn away no more;
Why wilt thou turn away?
The starry floor,
the watery shore,
Is given thee till break of day."


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Mitchell: morning

Submitted by Victoria Brago

2. The clod and the pebble [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): RUS

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

  • RUS Russian (Русский) [singable] (Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov) , "Комок и камень", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


"Love seeketh not itself to please,
Nor for itself hath any care,
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a Heaven in Hell's despair."

So sung a little Clod of Clay,
Trodden with the cattle's feet,
But a Pebble of the brook
Warbled out these metres meet:

"Love seeketh only Self to please,
To bind another to its delight,
Joys in another's loss of ease,
And builds a Hell in Heaven's despite."


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. The sick rose [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): CAT FRE FRE GER GER GER IRI NYN RUS SPA

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "La rosa malalta", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Jean-Pierre Granger) , "La rose malade", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , "Die erkrankte Rose", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Die kranke Rose", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • IRI Irish (Gaelic) [singable] (Gabriel Rosenstock) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • NYN Norwegian (Nynorsk) (Are Frode Søholt) , "Elegi", copyright © 2004, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • RUS Russian (Русский) [singable] (Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov) , "Больная роза", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Pablo Sabat) , "Elegía"


O Rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. My pretty rose tree [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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A flower was offered to me;
Such a flower as May never bore.
But I said I've a Pretty Rose-tree!
And I passed the sweet flower o'er.

Then I went to my Pretty Rose-tree;
To tend her by day and by night.
But my Rose turnd away with jealousy:
And her thorns were my only delight.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Never seek to tell thy love [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE

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Never [seek]1 to tell thy love 
Love that never told can be;
For the gentle wind does move
Silently, invisibly.

I told my love, I told my love,
I told her all my heart,
Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears --
Ah, she doth depart.

Soon as she was gone from me
A traveller came by
Silently, invisibly --
[He took her with a sigh.]2


View original text (without footnotes)
1 alternatively, "pain" (Baker, Hagen and possibly some others)
2 ? : "O, was no deny."

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. Nurse's song [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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When the voices of children are heard on the green 
And whisp'rings are in the dale, 
The days of my youth rise fresh in my mind, 
My face turns green and pale. 

Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down, 
And the dews of night arise; 
Your spring & your day are wasted in play, 
And your winter and night in disguise.


Submitted by Ahmed E. Ismail

7. Holy Thursday [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Is this a holy thing to see 
In a rich and fruitful land, 
Babes reduc'd to misery, 
Fed with cold and usurous hand? 

Is that trembling cry a song? 
Can it be song of joy? 
And so many children poor? 
It is a land of poverty! 

And their sun does never shine, 
And their fields are bleak & bare, 
And their ways are fill'd with thorns: 
It is eternal winter there. 

For where-e'er the sun does shine, 
And were-e'er the rain does fall, 
Babe can never hunger there, 
Nor poverty the mind appall.



Submitted by Ahmed E. Ismail

8. O Lapwing [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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O Lapwing, thou fliest around the heath
Nor seest the net that is spread beneath.
Why dost thou not fly among the corn fields?
They cannot spread nets where a harvest yields.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

9. Ah! sunflower [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Ah ! tournesol !", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Ah, Sun-flower! weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the Sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime,
Where the traveller's journey is done:

Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale Virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves and aspire
Where my Sun-flower wishes to go.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

10. The fly [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER RUS

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "La mouche", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • RUS Russian (Русский) [singable] (Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov) , "Мотылёк", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Little Fly,
Thy summer's play
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand 
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath
And the want 
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

11. From The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Language: English

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[--- This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. ---]

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